On Monday night, Cardiff City Football Club hosted a celebration dinner to commemorate the achievement of promotion to the Premier League. During the dinner, club director Michael Isaac, read a speech prepared by Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who was sadly unable to join us on the night.
Michael began by speaking of Tan Sri Vincent Tan, saying, “I’m sure you would join me in showing our appreciation for his vision, backing, investment and trust, which with the hard work of many good people has brought success and prosperity to the Welsh capital – hard work that will continue for years to come.”
Tan Sri wrote:
I’d like to thank you all as we celebrate the extraordinary achievement of Cardiff City Football Club, our great football club becoming champions of the Championship – returning to football’s top table for the first time in fifty one years!
It was in the Spring of 1962 that Cardiff City was last in the Top Division. That was fifty one years ago. Fifty one years is an awfully long time.
It’s unfortunate, but Cardiff City fans have had to do a lot of waiting. When looking at the achievements of our club, we had waited since 1927, when on St. George’s Day our boys defeated Arsenal to take the FA Cup out of England for the first and only time. Then, only two years after winning the FA Cup we were relegated – and it took almost another three decades before we had another chance to be in the top division to show them what we had.
That last time in the top flight in the early sixties, we didn’t stay too long – and we then had to wait fifty one long years, with some near misses along the way, to get back to where we, as a club, a capital city and all of South Wales belong.
Now we have our best chance, not just to take a seat at the top table, but to stay there, to grow there… not to be just a club in the Premier League, but to become a true Premier League club. Whilst the journey to the top flight has been both long and tough, and sometimes seemingly impossible, I believe our club has what it takes not just to gain promotion, as we have shown, but also to prove our worth as a Premier League club.
Looking back this season, our team has shown extraordinary character and mental fortitude.
. Winning ten consecutive home games – a record for this Club – at the start of the season.
. After November 24th, never falling from the top position, even with the pressures that comes with the tag of being the team to beat.
. A team with a goalkeeper that kept eighteen clean sheets.
. A team who attack together, defend together and chase every cause together.
. An honest and hardworking team with goals shared throughout the ranks.
. A team not dependent on individual stars, but one building success on the foundations of the entire squad.
Much credit has been given to me for the financial support that I have provided, without which the club’s future appeared doubtful. I would say that equally, if not more important have been the roles played by so many others. Our players who have played their hearts out, our manager, Malky, who has done a fantastic job of leading them, and not least, the people of Cardiff who have been such great supporters. If not for them, all that money I have put in would have made little difference.
I therefore wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to all of you.
When I first invested in the club almost four years ago, I knew next to nothing about football. Little did I expect to still be here four years later, sharing with the people of Cardiff and South Wales along the way the bitter disappointment in the last several years of near misses – and now, the glory and great joy of promotion to the Premier League and winning the Championship title.
I have invested in many businesses over the years and I have derived much satisfaction from my fair share of successes. Looking back, all that does not compare to the satisfaction, joy and pride I now experience with our club’s promotion. It is indeed myhonourand privilege to play a part in this remarkable achievement and to share in this great moment in Welsh history.
As many of you know, the motto on the crest for the City of Cardiff reads ‘Deffro mae’n ddydd’, meaning “Awake, it is day”.
Indeed! It is a new day for the City of Cardiff, a new day for South Wales and a new day for Cardiff City Football Club. Awake, indeed… with Fire and Passion. Together we are stronger. Together we are Cardiff City Football Club.
Michael was speaking to an audience including First Minister Carwyn Jones, Lord Mayor of Cardiff Councilor Derrick Morgan, Deputy Lord Mayor Keith Jones, Cardiff Council Leader Heather Joyce, Members of Cardiff Council and the Welsh Assembly Government, valued sponsors and commercial partners, club employees and Cardiff City supporters, whose steadfast backing of the club is vital and hugely appreciated by the squad, board, management and staff at the club.