Malky Mackay has informed Cardiff City’s owner, Vincent Tan, that he is risking the club’s Premier League survival by washing their dirty laundry in public.
Mackay remains in charge – for now – though he is also in the dark over his long-term future after attempts to hold clear-the-air talks before Christmas were snubbed by Tan.
That has left Cardiff and the players in a state of deep uncertainty ahead of two crucial home games this week, starting on Boxing Day against Southampton.
Mackay is trying to maintain business as usual on the pitch but admits the upheaval will soon take its toll on the players and staff.
The Cardiff manager said: “You can’t keep washing your dirty linen in public without it affecting the club. If this situation continues then it will affect the club’s chances of staying in the Premier League.
“I have a steely determination to make sure we stay up and we have a great set of professionals who are remaining focused on the job. But I am not naive enough to think the players don’t read the papers or watch the news.
“I have to protect them and we have regular dialogue to let them know how things are and make sure they remain focused on the job. This is a busy time but our chances of staying up will be affected.”
Mackay added: “I especially feel for the fans because they should be enjoying this season in the Premier League but are being dragged through front-page headlines rather than back pages of the newspapers.”
Mackay, who has received widespread support from fellow managers, is clinging to his job after a receiving a stay of execution from Tan days after being told to resign or be sacked. That temporary reprieve was negotiated by Cardiff’s chairman, Mehmet Dalman, who has, however, failed to bring the two parties face to face.
Mackay said: “I have been asked if I will meet the owner and that’s something that is for the good of everyone and the club going forward. It should be sooner rather than later. I wanted that meeting to be [yesterday], but that was declined. I asked for [today], but that was also declined. Then we are into Christmas Day and game day after that so it now looks as though it will not be until the end of the week.”
Mackay admitted he fully expected to be fired following events last week, which came to a climax with what appeared a farewell wave to the travelling Cardiff fans after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
He said: “I honestly felt I would be sacked at the weekend after I declined to resign. That’s why I went over to the fans at Anfield because of the support they have given me over the last two and a half years.
“I was deeply upset by the email [from Tan]. There are certain areas that have to be addressed after reading [it]. Until they are resolved, we will have to wait and see.”