Cardiff City’s owner, Vincent Tan, has reiterated his support for manager Malky Mackay as the club confirmed the departure of Iain Moody as their head of recruitment, a vote of confidence which may merely serve to increase speculation that Mackay’s days at the south Wales club are numbered.
The newly promoted Premier League club, who have made an impressive start to their first season in the top flight, also announced that the 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov has been appointed as the acting chief scout in place of Moody on an interim basis.
The loss of Moody had placed Mackay’s position under scrutiny but the Scot is believed to have no intention of resigning, and the club has denied reports that Mackay was asked to stand down.
Tan said in a statement released yesterday: “I have every faith in Malky and his team to lead us through the challenges of the Premier League. I have supported him in the past and will do so in the future for many years to come. I would say to all Cardiff City fans and everyone connected to the club, let us look forward to the future and remain united in our support of the team.”
The statement also confirmed that Moody, who was one of Mackay’s closest advisers, was no longer with the club and had been replaced by Apsalyamov. It read: “Cardiff City football club can announce the departure of head of recruitment, Iain Moody. Iain is leaving the club with our thanks for his contribution. In the interim period, Alisher Apsalyamov has been appointed as acting head of recruitment, focusing on gathering data on individual players. Ultimate recruitment decisions of course remain the domain of the manager and majority shareholder.”
Apsalyamov is thought to be a friend of Tan’s son and appears to have no previous experience in football. He joined the club in February but his name does not appear on a list of staff members on the club’s official website.
Tan previously caused consternation among Bluebirds fans by changing the club’s playing kit from blue to red and heavily altering their crest in 2012. Cardiff have yet to comment on the reasons for Moody’s removal, although it is believed Tan felt the club had overspent during the summer transfer window.
The Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust had expressed its concern the club could lose their highly rated and popular Scottish manager. Chairman Tim Hartley said: “Fans will be concerned with the recent behind-the-scenes developments at Cardiff City which appear to put into question the future of our manager, Malky Mackay.
“Supporters are surprised that someone who appears to have little hands-on experience has been put in charge of transfers at the football club.
“Fans want Malky Mackay, who has done a fantastic job as manager taking the club to the Premier League, to remain at Cardiff City.
“We don’t want to see any action taken to undermine his position as manager and Cardiff City’s efforts to have a successful first season in the top division.”
Cardiff are understood to be holding a board meeting on Monday, though it was scheduled prior to Moody being suspended last Tuesday. Chief executive Simon Lim is expected to attend, but it is believed that Tan will not be present.
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