Cardiff City have today unveiled their new Home and Away kits for the 2012/13 season, designed by Puma.
The main Home colour has been changed to red and the traditional blue shirt becomes the Away option. A third kit will be launched at a later date.
The change to red is with a view to increasing revenue internationally, with the colour holding spiritual significance in the Far East. The club's investors are from Malaysia and the country's name adorns the front of the shirts.
When plans for a change emerged several weeks ago they were met with some opposition and seemed to have been abandoned. The proposals have now been "reactivated" and a new club crest has also been revealed, featuring the red Welsh dragon more prominently and a new motto "Fire & Passion", but also retaining the inclusion of the Bluebird.
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The club believes that the changes "have been or will be accepted by the vast majority of supporters".
Cardiff City Chief Executive Alan Whiteley said, "This is a major and significant financial commitment and we are grateful to our investors for their continued confidence in this football club. In recent years the support and commitment from our Malaysian investors has given the club a much needed stability that has allowed us to move forward and away from the brink of administration, whilst allowing the club to challenge at the highest levels of the Championship.
"It is proposed that the future investment will take place principally in the form of shares and should give us every chance of delivering what we believe is the common and collective objective of the board and all Cardiff City fans. Our goal, put simply, is to work towards concluding all previous financial issues to place us on a long term financially stable platform, along with introducing structured investment in the team, stadium and infrastructure of Cardiff City Football Club to enable the club to achieve and sustain Premier League football.
"Concerning the commitment to developing the crest and to switch our primary colour to red, as directors - and as fans in our own right - we recognise that there is a history and commitment that goes with supporting Cardiff City and we are conscious and proud of the loyalty, bond and passion so many share for this club.
"At the same time, we also have to be prepared to be realistic and progressive. Sometimes in difficult economic times and challenging market conditions, in order to attract investment to survive and progress, brave, bold and compelling decisions and sacrifices need to be taken and made. By securing this investment we can safeguard the immediate and long term future of this club.
"The changes to the home kit and badge introduced as a consequence of the investment package are designed to help the club to develop its brand and to allow it to expand its appeal to as wide an audience as possible, with a view to delivering local success via an international and diverse market. As a board, we believe these changes, in the light of the benefits that will be demonstrably delivered, have been or will be accepted by the vast majority of supporters as judged in the light of the numerous emails and letters of support, backed by recent poll results from the Supporters Club and Media Wales.
"We are only too aware that the change of colour is a radical and some would say revolutionary move which will be met with unease and apprehension by a number of supporters, along with being seen as controversial by many. To those I would like to say that this was not a decision that has been taken lightly or without a great deal of thought and debate. There is no getting away from the fact that history and traditions are the lifeblood of any club and as such should be jealously guarded and preserved. Both the board and our investors fully understand and respect this and will do their utmost to uphold, protect and promote the values and virtues which the club stands for.
"However, the changes are believed to be vital to enable the club to progress to the next stage in its development and very much in the club's best long term interests. Judged in the context of the overall commitment and financial support, we believe it is the right decision for this club and where it currently stands. We hope that all supporters will appreciate these sentiments and will embrace the changes in that spirit and continue to support the club in the same loyal and passionate manner as before but hopefully with some greater feeling of security. "
In his blog on our sister site DesignFootball.com, Jay suggested at the time of the leaked proposals that Cardiff City fans could have been more open to the rebrand, predicting that the Away shirt would be blue and it could even be "worn in a percentage of home games". That remains to be seen, but DF members also contributed to a just-for-fun competition surrounding the then hypothetical changes, with the winning designs again predicting the retention of blue in the Away kit and a crest including the Bluebird as well as the more prominent Dragon.