With Cardiff fans celebrating after beating fierce local rivals Swansea City 1-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, all seems well on the field in South Wales, but off the field, a storm is brewing.
Vincent Tan, Cardiff's Malaysian billionaire owner, famously told Cardiff to change their badge and kit colour in order to suit Asian market tendencies or he would pull his funding, and the Bluebirds duly obliged, reaching the Premier League on the back of Tan's £125m investment.
Some fans were left disgusted, others simply indifferent, but Tan's interference hasn't stopped there. Etien Velikonja, a Slovenian international, was brought in from Maribor in 2012 for a fee of £3m, Just three appearances later, it has been revealed that the 24 year old without manager Malky Mackay's consultation, a move which totally undermines the work of the manager.
Issues have become even worse lately, after Tan sacked Iain Moody, Mackay's director of recruitment, replacing him with 23 year old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov, who has no previous experience in such a role and was reportedly a friend of Tan's son, which understandably infuriated Mackay. To compound the matter, Apsalyamov has been forced to step aside after a visa issue, turning the whole situation into something of a joke.
Mackay has gone about his business in a professional manner, but with rumours swirling suggesting that the 41 year old could be sacked, the former Watford boss may even walk before he's pushed, with Norwich rumoured to be eyeing the situation.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton appears to be on the verge of the chop after watching his side embarrassingly thumped 7-0 at the hands of Manchester City last weekend, and Mackay, a former Norwich City player for six years, appears to be the man they have their eye on.
A humble, underrated manager, Mackay did a fine job at Watford, guiding them through financial difficulty before moving to Cardiff and taking them up to the Premier League, ending their yearly playoff woe by clinching the title.
The chaos at Cardiff will almost certainly be putting strain on Mackay, and should Norwich decide to part ways with Hughton, Mackay may find it hard to turn down a return to Carrow Road, where he would be a popular appointment with the fans who remember him so fondly as a player – and previous body of work suggests he could be the man to haul Norwich away from the relegation zone and establish them as a solid side in the top flight.
image: © joncandy