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Mackay gets Cardiff reprieve

Updated: 2013-12-24 08:55
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has unexpectedly lifted his threat to sack manager Malky Mackay, the Premier League club's chairman, Mehmet Dalman, announced on Sunday.

Tan reportedly sent Mackay an e-mail last Monday telling him to either resign or face the sack, after the relationship between the two men broke down.

However, Mackay carried out his duties as usual in Cardiff's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday, and Dalman says the club is willing to look for a solution that will enable the Scot to hold onto his job.

"As things stand, Malky is in charge for the foreseeable future and will be until something else happens," Dalman said in an article on the Cardiff website.

"I don't want to go game by game on this, with people asking if he will be in charge.

"The crisis for the time being is over. The emphasis as of today is for us to create space and dialogue."

Mackay gets Cardiff reprieve

Dalman said he would work on Tan's behalf to keep the existing management structure in place.

"I have spoken to Vincent Tan and he has agreed I can go in to bat to try to bring a solution to this situation," he said.

"The important thing is that we try to find a way through this predicament."

Dalman said reports claiming Cardiff had opened talks with potential successors to Mackay were "simply not true", but warned the manager would be replaced if talks failed.

"What I do have is Vincent's word that if we don't succeed with our dialogue with Malky, I and the board will be handed the responsibility of going out and getting the manager we think is best to take the club forward," he said.

Mackay has a frosty relationship with Tan and reportedly angered the Malaysian by publicly expressing a desire to sign three new players in the January transfer window.

Earlier in the season, Tan sacked Cardiff head of recruitment Iain Moody, one of Mackay's closest allies, and replaced him with Alisher Apsalyamov, a 23-year-old Kazakh with no previous soccer experience.

Mackay received vocal backing from Cardiff's supporters during Saturday's game at Anfield, with some fans brandishing anti-Tan banners.

"I reiterate 100 percent that I absolutely won't be resigning from the football club," he told BT Sport after the game.

"I am a proud, passionate man to lead this football club and lead this team. I have done for 2 1/2 years, and my staff, my players - I certainly couldn't look at myself if I was to resign on those people."

A Cardiff fan group has revealed it will hold talks with Tan next week.

"We have got a meeting with Vincent Tan which was arranged before the e-mail debacle came public and that will take place on Saturday," Phil Nifield from the Cardiff City Supporters' Trust told Britain's Press Association.

"We are hoping that will lead to a much better dialogue with the fans."

Promoted from the Championship last season after a 51-year absence from the top flight, Cardiff is four points above the Premier League relegation zone in 15th place after 17 games of the campaign.

Tan has courted controversy during his Cardiff stewardship, notably changing the club's badge and colors to red from its traditional blue in 2012.

(China Daily 12/24/2013 page23)