28/02/2013 Sport Wales


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What a week for Welsh sport! Wales notch up another win in the Six


Nations, Swansea City win the League Cup and secure a spot in


Europe, and the golden girl of Welsh and British cycling, Becky


James, puts this town, Abergavenny, on the map with her two golds in


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 40 seconds


Minsk. Welcome to a bumper Sport Fantastic scenes there after a


fantastic achievement by Swansea City, securing European football


While down the road along the M4, another Welsh club would love to


join them. Cardiff City are chasing the very same dream, and so we


begin with our exclusive story. Sport Wales has secured


unprecedented access to the club's owner ahead of a crucial few months


in a push promotion. Nick Servini went to Malaysia to meet Vincent


I have come to Malaysia, where higher have been given exclusive


access to Vincent Tan and his business empire. How much can you


make available? Something like 20, 25 million. He was tempted into


football ownership three years ago. This is the first interview he has


If the fans welcome me, I can stay The first thing that strikes you


about Vincent Tan is how diverse he is. This touches virtually every


aspect of daily life. The good thing, for Cardiff City fans, is


this - Asian tycoons come and go, but Vincent Tan is known as a


survivor. Vincent Tan was the man who introduced at McDonald's to


Malaysia, and soon after, was running the country's biggest


lottery. One of his big expansions now is high street chemists. Buying


a football club, we said he was crazy. When we looked at Cardiff at


the time, it was at the bottom. But I mean, look at him. He has got the


magic touch. Every time he looks at something, he will make the


impossible possible. My latest pipe dream, God willing, is to take


Cardiff up to the Premier League! Have you caught the football bug?


Sort of. I look at it still as a business. It is not just a hobby.


It is still a business. But it is the business I can enjoy. We can


make it profitable. You are a businessman, you believe in the law


of averages. You think Cardiff players should shoot more at goals.


Yes, logically, even if you have more goal attempts, there is a good


chance you would get two or three N. How will do you envisage being


involved in Cardiff City? Good question! If the fans welcome me


and everybody welcomes me, I can stay for a long time. If I find


they are not welcoming and rude, maybe I will find a new buyer and


go off. If I want to sell, I want to make sure I leave it in good


I am not one of the many open-air locations where Malaysia and so


typically watched Premier League action. Tonight, it is QPR, already


owned by a Malaysian businessman, up against Manchester United. If


Cardiff City are promoted into the Premier League, the feeling Ayres


they will become the second most supported team of many Malaysians.


But while the establishment of a supporters' club become the main


team? Who do most Malaysians support? Manchester United. Will


Cardiff City be supported? Who? is a Welsh club, right? Manchester


United. Cardiff City would have their own best friend, her 2-5


years later. To a be fair, not many Malaysians are aware of Cardiff


City. If and when they are promoted to the Premier League, I guess,


their support would increase. With a new Asian fan-base, the potential


benefits would be enormous. younger generations would soon


realise that by supporting Cardiff, there is some form of connection.


No one knew what QPR was or about. But the minute it was bought, it


became a huge thing. So much so, even QPR imitation Jersey's was


selling like hot cakes. So, there is potential there. They have


played in blue for more than 100 years, but Cardiff City start next


season in red... The rebrand last summer caused uproar among fans.


For Vincent Tan, he says it is essential to target Asia. Some


people may say I am superstitious, but I just believe red is a colour


but Asia likes. Football is big in Asia. Asia's economy is growing.


People like the colour red. Manchester United play in red,


Liverpool play in red, and they are both begin Asia. When Cardiff City


changed their blue, did they achieve any success? 1927 or eight,


they won the FA Cup. Have they achieved any success under this


Blue brand? Have a? -- and they? I told management we have to change


this. Reluctantly, they agreed. Of course, one of my main explanations


was I am putting the Welsh national flag as a colour, and has a new


logo and emblem. It is the Welsh national flag. This Sporting Club


is different to a business, though. Yes, but they have to understand


that if I believe this could change is good for the long-term, it is


more marketable, it will mean the club can do well and be more


successful. That is we -- that is what we want the club to do. Do you


think we want to change the colour just for fun? There are lots of


things we can do with our money for fun. We do this because I believe


that this, long term, will be successful in Asia. A few will be


upset. 75% of our customers are unhappy, if the 25% are unhappy,


that is fine. Surely, you are putting in so much money, why do


you want to put so much money and for? For the love of football?


Thousands of red scarves were given away to try to sell the rebrand,


but Willetts stop there? Amid speculation of a name change, a


statement from Vincent Tan on the club website ruled that out. Born I


spoke to him, he was open-minded about future changes. When we get


there, we will make a decision. God willing, I am sure, if we are


promoted, I am confident the fans and everyone will support us, or at


least the majority of the fans. Right now, the majority are


supportive of the red colour. In the last game, the whole stadium


was read with the red scarves. You could see it on television. A


fantastic sight. He has spoken openly about the possibility of


renaming the stadium. But that is wrapped up in a debt. Vincent Tan


says he will offer Sam Hammam a place on the board to clear the


debt. This is too sensitive to talk about right now, but the principle


is we would like Sam Hammam to come and resolve this. After all, if I


did not come along and put money and, at Sam Hammam would have


nothing. The club would have gone into administration. Sam Hammam, if


I was him, I would be grateful that someone has put in so much money


end. This is Founder's Day, the big event of the year. Thousands of


staff are good fight it -- invited to a glitzy affair. Malaysia no


role to also invited. The bid focuses charity. Vincent Tan


famously pledged to give away half his fortune at this very event two


years ago. The day after Founder's Day, we travelled by helicopter


into the Jungle to a tourist resort he built up after the Prime


Minister at the time I asked him to model it on a medieval France. They


have recruited French chateau in the of tropics is about as far


removed from the championship The Bog as you could possibly get! But


when Vincent Tan come said, it appears he is thinking pretty hard


about Cardiff City. -- championship football. If you make it to the


Premiership, how much can you make available? A sensible number would


be 20, 25 million, and maybe more. One or two or three players, with a


whole team is very strong. We want to give the opportunity to the team


to play in the Premier League. Is the Oakwell of the team strong


enough to survive? -- it is at the core. It should be all right, but


we need improvement in one or two areas. War were all look at it, and


if it makes sense, we will support the recommendations. If car this


city are promoted, it sets up the first ever Welsh derby and the


Shock, they manage, they strategy as well. But we also want to have a


lucky break. If we get promoted to the Premier League, we would like


to buy someone a long the Michu model. We would like to pay 2


million or 5 million and do very well. But not pay 20 million or 30


million. You don't want a buyer Fernando for �50 million who does


not score for you. We want to be moderate, a reasonable and hope for


is a good break. Cardiff City are now eight points clear at the top


of the Premiership with a game in hand. With the end in sight, he


made this appeal to the fans. would like to tell the fans I think


we are doing a good job. Just give us all the support and have faith


that we do the right thing. We are not going to do stupid things. We


are not going to have a �70 million loan or investment into Cardiff.


Why would I want to put �100 million into a stupid thing? Do I


look stupid? Coming up, Swansea City chairman


Huw Jenkins. To get that win in the cup competition and to get the


chance to take our club again on a different stage, it is fantastic.


It provides us with added momentum next season.


Well, from the hopes and dreams of Cardiff City to the girl from


Abergavenny who stunned the cycling world last weekend. Whilst Cardiff


teenager Elinor Barker continued to impress in a debut year as a senior,


Becky James became the hottest property in British cycling with


her four medals at the World Championships. Gareth Rhys Owen


caught up with both of them on It was quite a week for Becky James


at the World Track Championships. Her two-time world champion and the


prospect of being branded the new golden girl of British cycling.


sounds pretty good, but to me, it still doesn't feel real. I can't


believe I won two gold medals and two bronzes. To be told I was the


first Brit to ever win four medals at a World Championships was just


surreal. It will take ages to sink in. Once it has sunk in, I will


enjoy it. It has not sunk in at all. I have not had time to reflect on


what happened. I have not even watched my race over. It is crazy


being here, talking about it. I am wearing a stripy jersey, and it has


not sunk in. The 21-year-old was not even selected for the London


2012 Olympics, but watching others shine helped with her motivation to


succeed. I always think things happen for a reason. It was not my


time. If I had gone, I would have performed different key to what I


did at the World Championships. I would not have got my best


performances out. Looking back now, I am glad I did not go. I am glad I


carried on training. My target was to be the best I could be for the


World Championships. And it worked out. You have to focus on yourself,


not what everyone else is doing. I had to be the best I could be.


took gold in both the sprint and Keri events as well as picking up


bronze medals in the team sprint and the 500 metres time-trial.


is definitely the best form I have ever had on my bike. Over the past


few weeks, my form was really good and I was getting PBs in training,


so that was good for my motivation and morale. It was a good feel in


camp. It is just enjoyable. I am really happy. It is my jersey now,


so I will enjoy it. She was not the first Welsh winner in Minsk. That


honour went to 18-year-old Elinor Barker. Drafted into the team and


more than holding her own. This is my goal for next year. I thought it


was out of my limit, but I sent big goals and hope to get somewhere. So


to reach that goal this year, I can't believe it. They are the


world record holders. When they go fast, they go really fast. Not many


people can keep up with them, so I have no shame in saying I could not


keep up the pace some days. It was a really hard mission to get to the


World Championships. I am just glad I was able to improve. Up are you


happy with your own individual performance? Are I was really happy.


A lot of things did not go right in previous rides or dress rehearsals


in training, which worried me because I was thinking, if I don't


do this right on the day... But I got it bang on, to the best of my


abilities at the moment. I would like to think I will improve as I


get more experienced. I am over the moon with my performance on the day.


Like the men's event, the women's pursuit is set to become a race for


four. This could secure Barker's permanent position in the British


line-up. The team time trial in September would be amazing to be a


part off. That would be fantastic. I don't know how realistic that is


because of the strength of the riders within our team, but I would


love to be part of it. Congratulations to our newest world


champions. Now, let's return to what has been a momentous week for


Welsh football. In a moment, we will show you how Wrexham booked


their first ever trip to Wembley. First, Swansea City and their


supporters are surely still celebrating that stunning League


Cup win and possibly pondering what it might mean for the future. We


sent him hoped to put the Swansea chairman on the spot. -- we sent


him hunt to put the Swansea chairman on the spot.


It is a Hollywood story. 2-0, It is in, it is five! A job


completed by Jonathan De Guzman. is a well-told story now, Swansea's


journey from where they were ten years ago to today, winning a major


cup final. But you are the man that has been there at the heart of it,


driving this dramatic change. How did you feel at Wembley when they


were lifting the trophy? I always look at the football side first.


Delighted at how we played and approached the game and the manner


in which we got the result. It was excellent. Proud that our


supporters can go to Wembley and enjoy that type of day. To get a


chance to take our club again on a different stage and into European


competition is fantastic and can provide us with added momentum next


season. Two years ago, you were at Wembley, hugging Brendan Rodgers.


Before that, Roberto Martinez had been successful. If you would a


dyed-in-the-wool Swansea person, you might think other clubs might


approach you to recruit managers for them. Go it has gone well. We


managed to stick to our beliefs. We have the right environment and the


right people involved. We have a stable squad of players. So those


things have a huge bearing. They can settle down quickly and first


and foremost enjoy living and working.


We have been talking and we will talk over the next three weeks, a


month, in connection with looking to expand at. But I think Michael


knows there is no pressure in either way. Whatever Michael wants


to do, we are happy with. Is your gut instinct that Michael Laudrup


will be here in three years' time? When I first met Michael, he said


he was not out to spend the next ten years being manager. But I hope


that next season, we will have another successful year with


Michael and see what comes at the end of that. But I am under no


illusions that he has said any words to me that he would be at our


club for four or five years. That has never been in his thoughts, and


I respect that. Police club Borini is Europa League football next


season. You would think the competition was a burden for some


clubs who grumble about fixture pile-ups and pressure on squads,


but Swansea say they intend to embrace it. A to be involved in


games on Thursdays and Sundays is something to be excited about and


proud of, rather than something that you feel the travelling


distance is too long or you are playing too many games with into


many days. Field concept of that by other clubs and managers is totally


wrong. We are privileged to be in this position and to be part of the


Premier League. It has to be taken on board with the right attitude


that you go and enjoy it and try to compete and finish as high as you


can in every competition. As long as everybody is on board with that,


every manager, every player is committed, we will not have any


difficulty. Sleepy Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.


This is where Wrexham ensure they will follow in Swansea's Prince in


three weeks' time and travel to Wembley in the FA Trophy final. The


side had taken a two-goal lead into the second leg of this semi-final


against the conference north side. Long treks up and down the country.


It is a way of life in the conference that these hardened


travellers would not have minded. He shoots, and he puts the ball


into the back of the net! It has taken just 21 minutes. Danny Wright


opened the scoring. And here is Hawkins, and he shoots! And he


scores! After being 1-0 down, Terry Hawkins makes it 1-1. And the ball


goes into the back of the net at! It is a deflected shot. I am


anxious finish as Wrexham lost again, but won over or to complete


their journey. There goes the final whistle. Wrexham have done it. They


will play in their first ever Wembley final. It is quality. You


can see what it means to the fans. The first time at Wembley. I am


proud as punch. We are thankful to be there.


Well, after a great week for Welsh sport, that is it from us. Thank


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