Malky Mackay, manager of Cardiff City, denies that he was asked to quit during a turbulent international break at the south Wales outfit.
There had been concerns that Mackay's future at the club was uncertain, despite him leading the club into the Premier League just five months ago. The removal of recruitment manager Iain Moody, who had worked alongside Mackay in his previous job at Championship club Watford. Club owner Vincent Tan took the decision to replace Moody, who had played a pivotal role in the summer signings of Gary Medel, Andreas Cornelius and Steven Caulker.
Perhaps what was more baffling for Mackay was the status of Moody's replacement. A twenty-three year old Kazakhstani with no previous business experience in football, Alisher Apsalayamov has been appointed to the role in Moody's absence. Apsalyamov is believed to be a close friend of Tan's son, and the move represents Tan's ambition to get Apsalyamov's billionaire father involved with the Bluebirds.
As majority shareholder of Cardiff City, Vincent Tan had reportedly taken the decision to take further involvement in the management and day-to-day running of the club. A club statement released last Friday outlined that Apsalyamov's appointment is on an interim basis, whilst it also reiterated that the final decision on recruitment lays with club manager Malky Mackay and majority shareholder Vincent Tan.
Following a five-hour board meeting this Monday, attended by Mackay, it was announced on Tuesday that all business would have to be "subject to the manager's final approval".
Speaking on Friday ahead of the Bluebirds' clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Saturday, Mackay denied rumours that he had been asked to step down from his role as manager.
"Under no circumstances was I asked to resign and at no time have I thought of resigning from the club," Mackay confirmed.
The City boss also showed his sympathy with the club's fans, who had been bombarding the club with messages and requests for information following an early media blackout on coverage of the fall-out at the club.
"I'm really sorry for the fans and what they've been through over the last couple of weeks."
"It's been a difficult time for them where their club has been in the spotlight for non-footballing matters, so I absolutely feel where they're coming from."
Mackay even took time out to laud Iain Moody's ability, stating that his role as Head of Recruitment played a huge role in leading the side into the top flight.
"He brought in over 20-odd players, so he's got a huge part to play in the recent success. I think our loss will be someone's huge gain in football."
Cardiff travel to third-place Chelsea this Saturday, and find themselves in 15th place following a promising start to their debut Premier League campaign.
image: © joncandy