Cardiff City and boss Malky Mackay have part-company, after the Scot met with Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan on Friday.
There has been speculation over Mackay’s future for the past couple of weeks and it is probably the least surprising Premier League sacking of the season.
To say that the Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is unpopular with the supporters of the club he owns would be an understatement.
The Malaysian businessman caused the wrath of Cardiff supporters by changing the team’s home colours from blue to red.
Then last week Tan gave the popular Mackay the ultimatum of resign or he would be sacked. From that point on the writing was on the wall for former-Watford boss Mackay. It was just a matter of time before Mackay would be sacked by Tan.
The disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Southampton gave Tan an excuse to fire Mackay. He did not need a second opportunity and Mackay was out of a job.
Prior to the arrival of Malky Mackay Cardiff had never appeared in the Premier League. In fact they had not been in the top-flight of English football in over 50 years. The team had come close to promotion under former-boss Dave Jones, but they could never quite get over the line.
Mackay managed what Jones could not and got the Welsh team into the top tier of English football. The Bluebirds not only won promotion under Mackay, but actually won the Championship title as well.
Mackay also lead the Bluebirds to the Capital One Cup final in 2012, where the Welsh side suffered a 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on penalties, after a hard fought draw in normal and extra-time. The Bluebirds showed their potential that season and were promoted in the next campaign.
The way Malky Mackay has been treated has been awful, considering the amount he has done for the club in his short tenure at the club. He deserved better than the treatment he received.
Cardiff did spend big money by their standards, but the Bluebirds squad needed strengthening for the challenge of playing in the top-flight. Mackay broke the clubs transfer record this summer with the signings of the likes of Steven Caulker, Gary Medel and Andreas Cornelius.
The first two have proved to very shrewd signings. Mr Tan has complained that Malky Mackay overspent his budget, yet he allowed the Scot to go and spend the money. I do not know what Mr Tan’s expectations for the season were, but not spending would have left the Bluebirds short in terms of top-flight quality players.
If Cardiff had not spent money in the summer the Bluebirds would have gone into the season with a Championship squad. The Bluebirds could be struggling badly now without the summer additions.
Cardiff are just outside the relegation zone going into their crucial home game against Sunderland later today. The Bluebirds are just one point outside the relegation zone and Vincent Tan will argue that the team have not been great to watch this season.
However, the expectations for Cardiff were just to survive in the top-flight this season. The Bluebirds have not been terrible in the Premier League this season though and had got some impressive points against big teams.
They did fail to win some very winnable games, but that has to be expected from a club who have only just been promoted. The defeat against Southampton was obviously not good enough, but that loss came against the background of the speculation over Mackay’s future.
The favourite for the post is Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The former-Manchester United striker has been linked with a number of Premier League vacancies in the past, after impressing in his homeland.
The Norwegian is yet another boss who played under legendary United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The rookie boss obviously learnt a lot from the Scot playing under him and working in the United coaching setup as well.
Other bosses in the running for the vacancy are former-England boss Sven Goran-Eriksson, Turkish boss Yilmaz Vural and former-Bluebird boss Dave Jones. Anybody who comes into the job will have to be prepared to deal with the clubs controversial owner.
Today’s game is a relegation six-pointer for Cardiff, as Sunderland head into the clash on the back of a surprise victory at in-form Everton. The Bluebirds are currently odds of 9/5 to be relegated from the top-flight.
Malky Mackay is a very highly-rated young head coach, but his position was untenable as soon as Vincent Tan decided to sack Mackay ally Iain Moody. Whether Cardiff are more likely to survive the drop without Mackay remains to be seen, but one thing that is for sure is that the whole managerial debacle has done little for Cardiff’s brand.
Was Vincent Tan right to sack Malky Mackay?