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Swansea City 2 v 0 Cardiff City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 16th March 2024 Kick-off 12:30
Swans v Bluebirds : The history of the South Wales derby cuts deep
Saturday, 16th Mar 2024 08:00 by Liam Walters & Keith Haynes

Derby day in the South and West of Wales today means an early kick off for what is now a sell out stadium. The Swans having lost the fixture in Cardiff, in what has to be the worst performance of the season have some proving to do this afternoon at the Swansea.Com (12:30pm)

Cardiff City believe they can do their first double in league football history today, the Swans having roasted them so many times in recent seasons really do have to have to turn up today and ensure they fight to the bitter end. There can be no excuses this time. The history books do display the Swans dominance but that will count for nothing if there is any hint of a lack of commitment as we saw at Bristol City last weekend.

This means everything to both clubs. It always has.

Cardiff City will arrive under a heavy police escort to prevent disorder in a well planned operation as it always has been for many years. Oddly enough this idea of first excluding away fans in the 90’s - and then operating a secure safe passage for away fans in both fixtures only came about after the Ninian Park riots in December 1993. That night Swansea fans appeared in several local bars and caused damage and attacked local Cardiff hooligans around the ground. The kick off was delayed and eventually due to the sheer number of Swansea fans the turnstiles were open for free entry. That night a lot of damage was caused inside the ground. The game was held up on numerous occasions as the away stand was destroyed, with Cardiff fans running on to the pitch. From memory the game finished at 11.20pm. Correct us if we are wrong. It was only then that the FAW decided to exclude away fans from this fixture, and then bring about the scenario we have today. This raised many eyebrows in west Wales as for several years before Cardiff and Swans fans had clashed in Swansea with no such repercussion. At the time it felt like the governing body had endorsed the previous years of trouble, but when it happened in Cardiff the brakes were put on. Football intelligence officer Simon Chivers described that night as the worst violence HE had ever seen. Cardiff fans have played it down for years.

Even our many younger readers will be aware today how precious the FAW hold Cardiff City in their hearts, as does Wales on Line (the newspaper of Wales) which didn’t carry any reporting on the Bristol City game last Sunday, until Monday. Albeit the favouritism is obvious, this has been what has driven Swansea fans to go to these games with fire in their bellies, and revenge against Westgate Street in their hearts. This centuries results show Swansea dominance. And that has to be seen today from the stands to the pitch.

The better side this century are by far the Swans with seven Premier League years under their belts, a major trophy and a remarkable European journey. The Bluebirds have had two tilts at staying in the the top flight but have been relegated both times. The margin of wins in the top division and percentages are embarrassing for Cardiff fans to digest. Both sides now though are incapable of an immediate return to the Premier League, despite some of the media nonsense spewed out from those incredibly blinkered journalists based in East Wales. That’s why we had to smile when they lifted a storyline from this website and passed it off as their own. These people need to squirm come 2.15pm today more than anyone.

You can bet your bottom dollar if the Swans win this game the attention won’t be as microscopic as it will be if Cardiff secure the three points. In fact it will be further proof of the embarrassing way the media go about their business. Websites like this face up to the likes of the ‘hoity toity’ ivory towered ‘journalists’ across the principality. As much as we are prepared to take on the club, especially when the Swans head of communications has openly encouraged people not to visit this site (a charity website that passes its finances to the brain tumour charity) We are happy to meet all and sundry head on. Someone has to speak up and have the character to back it up.

So that’s the history of the ‘bubble’ in a very quick glance. However, the way this city has been cast aside has caused as much tension as any inter city football rivalry. The blatant ignoring of a city and its people that supported the assembly in the 1997 referendum has been kicked so hard, so many times it is almost as corrupt a scenario than you will ever see in government. And the burning dislike, some would call it hatred towards the east of Wales and its financial preference towards Cardiff has boiled over many times. As time has passed we have seen dramatic job losses in west Wales, nobody wants to invest in a city that is keenly ignored by its own Welsh assembly.

We could spend all morning giving example after example as to the reasons why this fixture remains the longest ever ‘bubble trip’ in UK football history. And the reason why it has to remain. We see football derbies elsewhere that may have some rivalry, but home and away fans at this fixture never have the opportunity to rub shoulders like many others do. Anyone who hasn’t attended this game will genuinely believe this is just like any other derby match. They haven’t got a clue, it goes deeper as any cut you can imagine. It isn’t just football. It’s industry, economics, investment, lives and quality of life that is as much of a reason for this rivalry than anything else. Football just plays the vehicle for the animosity to be force fed every time these sides meet.

Today is about life, inside and outside of Welsh sport. It means that much.

Artwork by Swansea Independent

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