PETALING JAYA: Cardiff City owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan has come to the fans’ rescue.
The 66-year-old Malaysian tycoon has personally offered to reimburse the travel cost to some 2,600 Bluebirds fans who were left stranded in Derby for a Championship tie that was postponed at the eleventh hour last Sunday.
Derby called off the match at Pride Park just three and a half hours before the scheduled 12pm kickoff time because they stated that the ground was unsafe due to heavy snowfall. The match has been rescheduled to April 25.
Derby’s decision angered the travelling supporters.
Cardiff chief executive officer Ken Choo asked Derby to compensate the fans for the tickets and travel expenses incurred but they refused.
Derby were cleared of any wrongdoing by the English Football League (EFL) and agreed that they did the right thing to postpone the match.
But thanks to Vincent, the affected fans can now heave a sigh of relief as the former will reimburse them through his own pocket.
In a statement issued by Cardiff on Thursday, Ken said: “While the club have noted EFL’s findings in regard to the postponement of last Sunday’s game, it doesn’t mask the disappointment we feel.
“Of paramount importance to us throughout this process was that our supporters were treated fairly and with respect. The findings didn’t acknowledge the wasted efforts and expenditure incurred by those who travelled to the game last weekend.
“I’ve been in contact with Tan Sri Vincent Tan throughout this process and he will reimburse the fans.
“We look forward to putting this unsavoury episode behind us and concentrate on our targets for the remainder of the season.”
Cardiff can now put the controversy behind as the team step up their chase for promotion to the Premier League next season.
Cardiff currently sit second with 76 points behind Wolverhampton (82) in the 24-team Championship with nine matches remaining. The top two will qualify automatically while the next best four will go through a playoff for the remaining one berth.
The last time Cardiff played in the top flight was in the 2013-14 season.