TAN Sri Vincent Tan celebrated the promotion of Cardiff City to the English Premier League by announcing that the word "Malaysia" will be retained in the club's jersey for the new season.The billionaire owner of Cardiff, however, made it clear that he and the team manager, Malky Mackay, will not be hiring Malaysian players due to a Fifa ruling but said young players from Malaysia could be recruited for attachment with the Welsh club.
"We will maintain the word 'Malaysia' in our jersey to show to the world that I am patriotic. There will be no changes when we play in the EPL next season," said Tan in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"I have done this to promote Malaysia on the global stage and I hope the Malaysian government, through the Ministry of Tourism, will join in as sponsor.
"However, we will not be able to hire Malaysian footballers because of a Fifa ruling where Malaysia must be in the world top 70 for the players to be eligible to play in the EPL."
Tan said Cardiff will spend up to STG25 million (RM116 million) on new talent but he would not be seeking superstars.
"We can't afford players with superstar status for the time being," he said.
"We will need to invest in strengthening the playing squad and to spend wisely. Our aim will be to bring in quality players who will add to the strengths we already have in the team and I trust Mackay fully to make the best judgement on how we achieve this goal."
Cardiff City's remarkable accomplishment in earning promotion to the Premier League was capped by their success in winning the Championship title with an away point at Burnley.
The newly crowned Championship winners have two more matches remaining -- at home against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, when the Championship trophy will be officially presented, followed by the final match away at promotion chasing Hull City on May 4.
"It's a remarkable achievement and I share this joy with the thousands of our fans in South Wales and here in Malaysia," said Tan.
"This is my contribution to all Cardiff City supporters on behalf of the Malaysian public. It's a great feeling to be able to take Cardiff City to the top flight once again after a 51-year absence.
"It has been a long and tough journey and I hope our supporters can sit back now and enjoy this success, though in saying that I know that the team will go out and apply themselves fully to try and win both of their remaining games.
"From that point, we need to fully prepare ourselves for the greater challenges ahead in the Premier League," said Tan who also paid tribute to Mackay, saying he was a revelation at the club.