|Born||Vincent Tan Chee Yioun
February 1952 (age 62)
Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
|Occupation||Chairman of Berjaya Group
Owner of Cardiff City Football Club
Owner of FK Sarajevo
|Home town||Batu Pahat|
|Net worth||US$1.6 billion (2014)|
Tan Dato' Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun (born 1952); (Chinese: 陳志遠; pinyin: Chén Zhìyuǎn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Chì-uán), known simply as Vincent Tan, is a Malaysian businessman and investor. He is the chairman and chief executive of Berjaya Corporation Berhad, which is in a wide array of businesses which includes golfing, property, resorts, and gambling in a group known as the Berjaya Group.
In 2010, he entered the Forbes billionaire list with an estimated worth of US$1.3 billion (RM4.2 billion). Tan's success in the Malaysian business sector has been attributed in part to his close association with prominent Malay political figures.
In December 1980, Tan purchased Malaysia's McDonald's franchise and in 1985 he bought Sports Toto when the lottery agency was privatised by the government. Tan obtained the license for his lottery business from a non-tendered privatisation in 1985.
In May 2012, the consortium said they would invest £100 million to increase the stadium's capacity and build a new training ground, providing they were given permission to rebrand the club from blue to red. The plans sparked outrage among Cardiff supporters, who quickly organised an emergency meeting to discuss how they would respond to the proposal. The plans were subsequently dropped.
One month later, the club went ahead with the rebranding, to expand Cardiff's appeal in foreign markets. Cardiff's badge was redesigned to include a red dragon, while their home kit was changed from blue to red. The club's £30 million debt to the Langston Corporation was also cleared.
In April 2013, following Cardiff's promotion to the Premier League, Tan promised to spend £25 million to help Cardiff establish themselves in the top flight, and publicly stated his interest in listing his 36.1% stake on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE). An Initial Public Offering (IPO) would sell shares in the club to the public for the first time, in an attempt to gain capital to expand the business. By April 2014, with Vincent Tan continuing to purchase shares from minor stock holders within the football club; he had increased his holding to just over 90% of the total shares according to the latest club financial statements. He had also spent an estimated £140m during his four years with the club, servicing debt, paying for player wages, and transfer fees.
In October 2013, Tan created more controversy after suspending Iain Moody, the club's head of recruitment, who had apparently overspent by £15 million during the summer transfer window. Moody was initially added to the backroom staff by then manager Malky Mackay, and helped Cardiff sign several players ahead of their inaugural Premier League campaign. He was replaced by Alisher Apsalyamovby, a 23-year-old Kazakh who was previously on work experience with the club and is a friend of Tan's son. A few months later, following an investigation over Apsalyamovby's visa, he was forced to leave the club.
Despite going over budget during the summer, Mackay publicly stated his plans to boost his squad during the January transfer window, which upset Tan, who said that no money would be made available. Mackay said he would not resign following Tan's criticism, and was subsequently backed by Cardiff fans. Towards the end of December, Tan told Mackay to resign or be sacked. He managed two more games before being sacked.
In December 2013 Tan bought Bosnian club FK Sarajevo. Under the deal, Cardiff will cooperate with FK Sarajevo, exchanging players and taking part in a football academy, yet to be established, which Tan has said will lure new talents. FK Sarajevo have since brought in players such as Miloš Stojčev, Džemal Berberović and Nemanja Bilbija, who helped the club win the 2013–14 Bosnian Cup, their first title since winning the domestic Premier League in 2006–07. Prior to the Cup triumph, Robert Jarni was brought in as manager of the club in December 2013 by Tan, but was dismissed after only four months (on 7 April 2014, while the team were still in the semi-finals of the Bosnian Cup) because the club had failed to keep their chances of winning the premier league title alive during the later stages of the 2013-14 season. In July 2014 FK Sarajevo played a friendly match against Tan's Cardiff City FC U21, winning 4–1. FK Sarajevo qualified for the Play-off round of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, where they lost to German Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In May 2014, the heaviest rains and floods in 120 years hit Bosnia and the surrounding region. The worst affected areas were the towns of Doboj and Maglaj, which were cut off from the rest of the country when all major roads flooded. Damage from landslides and floods was estimated to run into hundreds of millions of euros and twenty-four people were killed. The cost of the disaster, officials said, could exceed that of the Bosnian War. In June 2014, Tan made a personal donation of €114,000, while the people of Malaysia raised a total of €169,000 toward Bosnia's flood relief fund.
On 17 July 2014, during the halftime break of the Europa League qualifying match between FK Sarajevo and Norwegian club FK Haugesund at the Olympic Stadium in Sarajevo, Tan presented pledges of assistance of €255,000 each to two hospitals in Doboj and Maglaj, to be used for medical equipment. He said in a pre-match interview, "[B]ecause of my involvement with Sarajevo Football Club, when I heard about the floods, I urged the Sun newspaper to run a campaign to raise donations to help Bosnia."
In April 2014, Tan (through one of his representatives) bought a two-year-old colt from Doncaster Bloodstock Breeze-Up Sales for £190,000. It will be trained by Australian Jeremy Gask in Wiltshire. Eamonn Wilmott, Gask's business partner, said: "We are very excited, and pleased to have Mr Tan involved. The horse looks exceptional and dominated the parade rings outside the sales."
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