America, meet Vincent Tan, the worst owner in sports

Vincent Tan is the owner of Cardiff City F.C., a team based out of Wales that plays in the Premier League.

Cardiff City fans do not like Vincent Tan, who is from Malaysia and made his billions bringing McDonald's to his home country. They don't like Tan for the usual reasons fans don't like an owner — an unwillingness to spend money to improve the team, tension between ownership and the team's management, etc.

They also don't like Vincent Tan because Tan seems to be using the club much like a 12-year-old in "owner mode" on the FIFA 14 video game.

Cardiff City used to wear blue jerseys. They wore blue jerseys for as long as anyone can remember. When Tan bought the team, though, he changed the team's colors to red. Why? Because Tan really likes red, and he thought red would sell better in Asia, where he comes from.

Forget that Cardiff City's team is known as the "bluebirds." Tan likes red and thought the color change would sell jerseys in Asia, so Cardiff City became red.

Also, about those bluebirds. Tan, who purchased 51% of Cardiff City in 2010, apparently doesn't like bluebirds. There used to be a dragon element to the Cardiff City crest, though, and Tan DOES like dragons. (Also, he knows that dragons are a popular symbol in Asia.) So the team changed the logo.

The latest news to infuriate the fans is that Tan now wants to change the name of the club from Cardiff City F.C. to Cardiff Dragons.

To give you an idea, this would be like someone buying the Boston Celtics, then deciding green wasn't a great color, and changing the team's home colors to red. Then deciding the nickname "Celtics" was stupid and they could sell more jerseys with a different name, and changing the team's name to the Boston Dragons. There'd be riots on Boylston Street.

Of course, all this isn't even tapping in to the problems Tan has with his manager, the much-liked Malky Mackay, or the fact that Tan admits that when he bought the team in 2010 hedidn't know the rules of soccer. Or that Vincent Tan really likes wearing his pants hiked up to his armpits.

The real issue at hand here is what a sports owner can/should do with a team they own, and the very meaning of ownership. American owners have changed team names before, but they usually involve the fans in the decision and naming of the new team. In England, especially, most fans view owners more as stewards of the club, while the team is "really" owned by the supporters.

Vincent Tan doesn't care for that. He spent his money to buy the team, and he has invested money to bring the team to the top division in British football, and if he wants his team to wear red instead of blue, he gets to do that.

For now, the fans have had enough. Change the colors, fine. Undermine the manager, OK. But with Tan's latest move to rename the club, it might be a bridge too far. An owner only owns a soccer team so much.


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