SEA-owned European clubs and how they fared

In light of Malaysian businessman Datuk Dr. Noordin Ahmad’s acquisition of Serie B Italian club Bari 1908, FourFourTwo’s Nigel Chin takes a look at how other Southeast Asian-owned clubs’ fortunes have changed – either for the better or worse.   

Cardiff City

Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan took over Cardiff City on May 27, 2010. It was supposed to be the start of a new era for the Bluebirds, but six years on, the results have been mixed.

In their first two years, Cardiff failed to gain promotion to the English Premier League, first under Dave Jones, and then Malky Mackay.

Then in 2012, Tan decided to change the club’s traditional colours from blue and white to red and black, while adopting the Red Dragons nickname, which drew the ire of supporters.

Along with the changes, Tan expanded the stadium, built a new training facility, and increased the transfer budget. The result was immediate, as Cardiff started the season with a bang and earned promotion.

Despite splashing over £20m to sign the likes of Steven Caulker, Gary Mendel, Peter Odemwingie and Kenwyne Jones among others, they failed to avoid relegation in their only season in the top flight. They finished the season last with 30 points.

The following season, the club finished 11th in the championship and failed to earn promotion once again, although there were cheers among supporters after Tan and the board members decided to return the club colours to the tradition Blue and White, along with the Bluebirds nickname.

Tan also owns Belgian club K.V. Korrijk and FK Sarajevo. The latter ended a seven-year trophy drought by winning the Bosnian Cup before claiming the league title the following season.

Verdict: Mixed results, but the fact that supporters are clamouring for Vincent Tan to leave the club says it all.