Your Team In The Media: Number 3 - Cardiff City

Cardiff supporters who are not busy eating or hitting opposition fans should prepare for a season of being massively patronised and terrible puns about leeks...

Last Updated: 17/07/13 at 15:25 Post Comment

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Is your club a media darling - or an unfashionable whipping boy? Does your team get a rough deal from the hack pack? Do lazy journalists always come up with the same clichés about your club? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League...

Ex-player pundit presence
A bit thin on the ground. Nathan Blake, famous for getting nicked after robbing a fruit machine and being the first player to score at the Millenium Stadium (sadly, it was an own goal) pops up with limited success form time to time. Ian Walsh, probably better known as a Palace player, does BBC Wales punditry. Biggest and best name is of course the warrior-poet John Toshack who, most seem to forget, spent five years at the club from 1965-70.

Celebrity followers
Boxing great Joe Calzaghe. Shakin' Stevens. Mark Young, creator of Super Ted. The BBC Five Live commentator Ian Brown. Martin Rossiter from 1990s pop-mince outfit Gene. Nathan Wyburn, the Welsh artist who makes his art out of toast: he created a replica of the Cardiff City crest from said foodstuff.

Back page leaders?
Within Wales, obviously get a lot of coverage. Outside Wales there is almost none, and what there is tends to be patronising. Their first season in the top flight will inevitably be linked with words such as 'plucky', 'brave' and 'struggling'. Tabloids will no doubt be digging out headlines about daffodils, Welsh rarebit, boyos, leeky defences and so on.

Gaffer's media skills
Tough and no-nonsense as anyone called Malky should be. A frustrating summer, in which the club has been linked with a veritable galaxy of stars who didn't really seem likely to come near the place, has already tested the Mackay patience. The occasional sullen, passive-aggressive scowling to media will be familiar to anyone who has ever been in a Glasgow pub just before it all goes off. If he does manage to secure any silky foreign talent, will be interesting to see how he handles that sort of player.

Vox pop cliché fan
Two sides to this. One of the most notorious firms, The Soul Crew are old skool hooligan and proud; their presence relative to the size of the non-mental support feels larger than at comparably supported clubs. Then there is the newer fan, lured by the excitement that success brings, more cosmopolitan and less inclined to deconstruct public transport or eat opposition fans.

Keyboard warrior ferocity
Newly promoted club chippiness. Outrage at suggestion they'll go straight down as though it's the most illogical and unfair comment ever made and also a bit racist. Will spend all season trying to 'prove pundits wrong' by over-celebrating occasional victory. By December will be demanding manager's resignation after string of bad results and advocating that the club should have done the exact opposite of whatever it has actually done.

Club's brand
Welsh dragon, fierce, passionate, hate Swansea. Astonishing move by Malaysian owners to change the club's shirt - the Bluebirds had played in blue from 1908 to 2012 - to a more East Asian friendly, auspicious red (the colour of luck and money in the East). Fans were naturally outraged, but then again, the team did immediately achieve promotion, so maybe there's something in it after all.

Outsider's view
How are they even in the English Premier League? Cardiff, is that near Swansea? Don't they play in blue? Definitely going down. And...please, don't hit me with a brick.

Archetypal news story
'Club trying to sign a once-famous player' - the attempt to lure the old old old old old new Maradona, Javier Saviola perhaps the stand-out - and, after failing to secure a signature, 'club to stick with side that got us promoted, we don't need to make big signings to survive'.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

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