In the ancient Greek world hubris was considered among the greatest of crimes and was believed to be punished by the total ruin or fall of its perpetrator. Confirmation of Cardiff City’s relegation back to the Championship on Saturday just one year after promotion was the inevitable conclusion of the farcical tragedy that has been played out in the Welsh capital this season.
While Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is the pantomime villain of a piece where the heroes are conspicuous by their absence, the victims are undoubtedly the tens of thousands of fans of a club whose dignity has been jettisoned so outrageously this season.
Tan’s arrogance over the course of the past year - from the moment promotion was gained and he put it down to ‘lucky red’ to his proclamation in recent months the success last season was due to him - has been boundless. He has single-handedly presided over farce after farce.
From the ‘out of control’ summer spending to the most recent ‘Moodygate’ saga in which the Welsh club claimed Crystal Palace - and in particular their Sporting Director and ex-Cardiff Head of Recruitment Iain Moody - broke Premier League rules by obtaining the Cardiff team ahead of Palace's 3-0 triumph at the Cardiff City Stadium; Tan has been at the heart of every episode, and each one more embarrassing for the long-suffering Bluebirds fans.
It was Tan who sacked popular boss Malky Mackay and appointed novice manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; it was Tan who caused repeated unrest in the dressing room throughout the season with his ‘interventions’ in all manner of things such as tactics, bonuses, and even the lack of shots the team were taking; it was Tan who stripped away the club’s identity as a team in blue, stamping on the heritage and stripping away the heart and soul of a proud and passionate community.
The list could go on and on. However it’s easy to lay all of the blame at the feet of the ‘eccentric’ Malaysian, but the players and coaching - in whatever guise - do not escape responsibility for Cardiff demise. The truth is, in all aspects Cardiff have not been good enough.
Ironically, if Cardiff are to bounce back from relegation Tan himself has potentially the biggest role to play. If he has been the main source of division and unrest within the club this season, Tan also has the power to restore harmony and galvanise the club at all levels ahead of another big challenge next season.
The issue of the club's identity is key to this and WalesOnline are reporting that one supporter's group has already called for Tan to restore Cardiff's traditional blue colours.
Considering how much Tan has sought to antagonise an already frustrated and outraged fan base in the past this simple gesture could be the first step in building a bridge across what looks an unpassable void.
It would be an apt demonstration of Tan's humility following a year of reproachful hubris, and show the fans he isn't the Bond villain the media has so often portrayed him to be.
It may prove - just maybe - to be the first shoots of growth where the landscape looks barren.
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