Malky Mackay: Cardiff City sack manager

Malky Mackay has been sacked by Cardiff City

Malky Mackay has been sacked as Cardiff City manager by the club's board of directors.

Billionaire Malaysian owner Vincent Tan said the dismissal was "regretfully" necessary to be fair to the club and its fans.

In a statement, Tan said: "Far too much dirty linen has been exposed to the public gaze but, I stress, not by me."

The move comes a day after a 3-0 home defeat by Southampton left Cardiff only one point above the relegation zone.

Mackay said he could look back at his time at Cardiff with "immense pride".

"I leave with my head held high having gained a level of experience that, upon reflection, I suspect would have been difficult to find anywhere else in British football," he said in a statement issued on his behalf by the League Managers' Association.

"The foundations laid at Cardiff City FC will provide a solid platform for my successor. And for the sake of the club, I hope that all of the progress that has been made so far will not be impaired in any way by today's enforced changes."

Mackay's removal follows a public row with Tan, who wrote to to the manager on 16 December asking him to resign or be sacked.

Tan also accused Mackay of overspending in the transfer market and announced the manager would have nothing to spend in the January window.

The 41-year-old Scotsman refused to resign, and subsequently led the team in Premier League matches against Liverpool and Southampton before his dismissal.

Mackay's assistant David Kerslake is expected to be in charge for the home match against Sunderland on Saturday.

Mackay, who is the sixth Premier League boss to lose his job this season, had been in charge at Cardiff for two-and-a-half years after taking over from Dave Jones in June 2011.

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He guided the club back to the top flight of English football after a 52-year absence when they won the Championship in April.

Tan claimed in a statement that Mackay's dismissal was necessary for the good of the club.

"There has been a good deal of publicity generated by, and about, Mr Malky Mackay for the last few months," it read.

"I have deliberately not responded to this, hoping that the club can be judged on its football rather than personalised arguments about who said what to whom.

"I have, however, regretfully concluded that it is no longer fair to the club, its players, its fans and the public more generally for this uncomfortable state of affairs to continue.

"Cardiff City Football Club means far too much to us all for it to be distracted by this."

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The first signs of a problem between the owner and the manager emerged in October 2013 when the club's director of recruitment Iain Moody was removed from his post.

Moody, a long-term friend and colleague of Mackay who worked with him at Watford, was replaced by 23-year-old Kazakh Alisher Apsalamov, a friend of Tan's son.

Moody played a major role in the recruitment of summer signings Gary Medel and Steven Caulker and the decision to remove him upset Mackay, who described his colleague as "a class act".

No official reason was given for Moody's departure, but it emerged in December that Tan felt he was responsible for an alleged overspend of £15m on the club's transfer budget.

Tan claimed the club had spent £50m on transfers following their promotion to the Premier League after being given a budget of £35m.

Moody and Mackay both denied there had been an overspend.

The latest row was sparked by Mackay's comments after Cardiff's 1-0 win over West Brom on 14 December that he would like to recruit three players in January.

The comments prompted a strident response from Tan, with many observers surprised that Mackay was still in charge for the game at Anfield on 21 December.

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