Malky Mackay has insisted that he will not resign as manager of Cardiff City after a huge show of support from fans of Liverpool and Cardiff yesterday. Both sets of supporters rose to him after a 3-1 defeat at Anfield witnessed by Cardiff’s owner, Vincent Tan, who has called upon Mackay to either quit or be sacked.
Mackay is unwilling to resign because he would forfeit a six-figure sum to which he would be entitled if Tan terminated his contract. He said yesterday that he had not considered resigning and then suing the club for constructive dismissal. This is believed to be because his resignation would put in jeopardy the jobs of all his backroom staff.
“I reiterate 100 per cent that I will not be resigning from this football club. I am proud to lead this team. Why would I want to leave?” he said. He added that he had not spoken directly to Tan in a while and did not expect any face-to-face meetings with the Cardiff owner, despite the fact that both men were in the same stadium yesterday. “I last spoke to him face to face a while ago. I can only do what I can do but the one point I will make is that I will not be resigning.
“I am not going to walk away from this club, from this set of players and I am not going to walk away from the backroom staff who have been with me for the last two-and-a-half years.
“In particular, I do not want to say goodbye to our fans. I have been humbled by them. They are passionate people who love their football. You saw 40,000 of them at Wembley going bananas when we played the League Cup final and they should have been enjoying their Premier League season.” Mackay said that despite the speculation that has swirled around the club, he would continue to prepare Cardiff for their Christmas programme although he denied the unrest between himself and Tan, that centres on their summer transfer spending, would destabilise the team.
“I had a chat with the players,” he said. “They are not daft people, they read the papers, they have an understanding of what is going on. I asked them if they had any questions and they had two or three. I told them I had been preparing the club properly for two-and-a-half years and I would continue to do that. I told them I would not resign. I was crystal clear on that.”
Tan travelled to Merseyside from London, where he had talks with the Cardiff chairman, Mehmet Dalman on Friday night. He has insisted that Mackay and his director of recruitment, Iain Moody, who was dismissed last month, had overspent on four summer recruits – Steven Caulker, Gary Medel, Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Andreas Cornelius. Tan claimed Cardiff had paid £50m for the four, some £15m more than had been budgeted for.
It is for this reason that Dave Jones, the man Tan dismissed and who took legal action against him, has emerged as a candidate to become director of football.
The notorious email that Mackay received demanding his resignation extolled the virtues of Jones who was sacked in 2011. Mackay is convinced the email was not written by Tan because it appears to be the work of someone with detailed football knowledge.
Jones appealed to Tan because he spent comparatively little as manager and, although he was sacked as Sheffield Wednesday manager at the start of the month, Tan was impressed with his work in the loan market.
The former England manager, Sven Goran Eriksson, had not discounted himself as a candidate to replace Mackay, although he has always been a manager who has spent money and at Manchester City disliked his treatment at the hands of another Far Eastern owner, the former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
According to Sir Alex Ferguson, Shinawatra was said to have offered advice on how to take corners. The other candidate, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be harder for Tan to attract. Solskjaer is under contract at Molde, who he has led to two Norwegian titles and was persuaded by Ferguson to reject Aston Villa’s approaches after the dismissal of Alex McLeish.
On the same Friday night Tan was meeting Dalman, Mackay met the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, who said Tan was about to discard the “best manager in the history of Cardiff City”.
Rodgers added: “Malky is a wonderful professional. He has given them a chance to be in one of the best leagues in the world. If he stays at Cardiff, he will keep them in the Premier League. He is a big, proud man. It is sad to see how he has been treated.”