Controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has claimed the British press are "a little bit racist," suggesting he is unfairly demonised due to his positioning as a prominent foreign owner in the Premier League.
As reported by David Ornstein of BBC Sport, Tan believes his portrayal as a "Bond villain," a tag provided due to his fashion sense, is one of many examples where people unnecessarily criticise him:
I wear sunglasses because of the glare of the spotlights. I wear gloves because it is very cold in the UK. Frankly, sometimes I think they are nuts making all these comments.
The British press is unfair...maybe because we didn't tell our side of the story that well. When the time is right, I will tell my story. Sometimes the British press is maybe a little bit racist.
While Tan's claims are bizarre, he fails to realise continuous criticism is launched his way due to a number of strange decisions he has made since becoming owner in 2011.
Tan changed the club's colours from blue to red and unfairly axed former manager Malky Mackay at the end of 2013, after the Malaysian businessman replaced chief scout Iain Moody with unknown Kazakh Alisher Apsalyamov, per BBC Sport.
Tan believes 90 percent of fans appreciate his effort, as noted in Ornstein's report, saying, "Without me, Cardiff would have gone bust. Because of my investment, we got promoted."
Although that is the case, it is dangerous for the entrepreneur to justify his actions because he has the cash to keep Cardiff afloat. The club has a proud history and identity that he threatens to destroy, something the supporters won't take lightly, noted by Wales Online journalist Simon Gaskell:
I'm told there will be a planned protest against Vincent Tan by Cardiff City fans before the Liverpool game on March 22. More @WalesOnline— Simon Gaskell (@simongaskell) February 28, 2014
Currently embroiled in a legal battle with Mackay, Tan also hinted the 42-year-old never would have received the managerial position if he had taken a leading share in the team with greater haste:
He didn't do very well at Watford, but somehow our CEO and our chairman hired him and replaced Dave Jones. Dave Jones actually did much better.
So I think Malky got lucky when he came to Cardiff. I invested a lot of money and then we went up. Do you think that Malky would have got us promoted without my investment?
Cardiff currently sit three points away from escaping the relegation zone under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The likeable Norwegian's team are 19th after winning one of their last 11 games, per WhoScored.com. With matches against Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea looming across their final run of 11 fixtures, an ominous drop into the Championship is beginning to take shape.
Much like Hull City owner Assem Allam, who plans to rebrand the club as Hull City Tigers, Tan has come under scrutiny from Premier League chief Richard Scudamore, as reported by Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph:
Tan's claims of racism seem well wide of the mark at this point. His fierce opposition is the natural reaction to the owner's decision to rapidly alter a team that has great tradition, but there's no denying his money has thrust Cardiff up the hierarchy of English football.
Still, possessing more money than sense ensures unrest will remain throughout his association with the club.