Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay’s job appears to be safe – for now at least – with the club assuring him of his future yesterday afternoon and attempting to reconcile tensions.
Mackay’s position at the Barclays Premier League club looked doomed after Malaysian owner Vincent Tan sent the manager an email last week requesting him to stand down or be fired. With Tan flying in to the UK ahead of Saturday’s match against Liverpool, it was widely expected that the Scot would be sacked.
But Mackay, who insisted he would not resign, has been handed a reprieve with the hierarchy wanting to heal the rift.
“As things stand Malky is in charge for the foreseeable future and will be until something else happens,” Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said yesterday in a statement on the club website. “I don’t want to go game by game on this, with people asking if he will be in charge.”
Fans reacted with fury to Tan’s attempt to oust Mackay, showing their support for the former Celtic and Scotland defender and disdain for the owner throughout the 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Unsettled by the supporters’ reaction, Dalman appealed for a display of unity at the next league game against Southampton on Thursday.
“If I had one wish for Boxing Day, it’s that they don’t hold up ‘Tan Out’ or ‘Malky In’ banners, but rather one that says ‘Talk to each other’,” Dalman said.
“The crisis for the time being is over. The emphasis as of today is for us to create space and dialogue.”
Tan had already alienated some fans by changing the club’s colours from blue to red and adopting a new crest. Tan and Mackay also clashed over the dismissal of head of recruitment Iain Moody in October, and the damage is yet to be repaired.
“We managed to create space for everyone to work together back in October and we have to see if we can do that again in order to move forward,” Dalman added. “At least we have a platform for dialogue, which gives us an opportunity to try to work our way through this.
“If we wish to work towards a reconciliation, Vincent Tan has offered us that opportunity to move towards that. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Let’s see if we can fix it. We can’t keep having the club under a cloud.”
In the unusually blunt and frank statement from a Premier League club, Dalman made it clear that replacing Mackay would be no problem, while denying he had approached potential replacements yet.
“As chairman, I have not initiated any dialogue with anybody else,” Dalman said. “Can we go out and get another manager? Of course we can.”
Mackay led Cardiff into the Premier League for the first time last season. The Welsh club are four points above the drop zone. after the loss at Liverpool.
Speaking after the match, Mackay made it “crystal clear” that he would not be resigning. he said: “There is nothing else I can tell you that you don’t already know. I am someone who will absolutely not resign, I don’t think there is any need for that to happen.
“Crystal clear there will be absolutely no way I will be resigning from Cardiff City.”
Asked whether he expected to be sacked, Malkay added: “That is not a question you should be asking me. That is surely a question for someone else. I am doing the job I have always done, which is preparing the team and looking after the club on a day-to-day basis.
“I will be in work tomorrow if it is anything to do with me. One thing I can tell you is that I won’t be resigning as the manager of the football club.”
And asked whether he had spoken to Tan after the game Mackay added: “That is not something that normally happens. We are finishing here and then we have a plane back to Wales.”