Cardiff City’s owner, Vincent Tan, reiterated his support for manager Malky Mackay yesterday – a vote of confidence which may merely serve to increase speculation that the Scotsman’s days at the south Wales club are numbered. This is especially so as yesterday’s announcement was accompanied by the club’s confirmation of the departure of the Mackay-appointed Iain Moody as their head of recruitment.
The newly-promoted Premier League club, who have made an impressive start to their first season in the top flight, also confirmed that the inexperienced 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov – understood to be a friend of Tan’s son – has been appointed as the acting chief scout in Moody’s place.
The loss of Moody, one of Mackay’s closest advisers, had placed the manager’s position under scrutiny but the Scot is believed to have no intention of resigning, and the club has denied reports that he was asked to stand down.
Tan said in yesterday’s statement: “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.”
As for Moody, the statement added: “Cardiff City 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 appears to have no previous experience in football. He joined the club in February as a work experience placement.
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.
Subsequently the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust expressed concern that 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 understood that Tan will not be present.