Monday 22 January 2018

Malky Mackay absent as Cardiff City press conference descends into farce

Vincent Tan and Malky Mackay in happier times
Vincent Tan and Malky Mackay in happier times

Graham Clutton

Malky Mackay’s tenure as Cardiff City manager appears to be at an end after more farcical scenes at the club’s training ground this morning.

Following claims that billionaire owner Vincent Tan has told Mackay that unless he resigns he will be sacked, Mackay’s weekly pre-match press conference passed by without any sign of the 41-year-old Scot.

Although club sources claim that Mackay will take training later this morning, speculation is rife that he has already left the club’s training ground in the Vale of Glamorgan complex. Tan is understood to be flying in from Malaysia tonight, in readiness for tomorrow’s game at Anfield. Further speculation suggests that Craig Bellamy could take over the reins on a caretaker basis should Mackay be shown the door later today.

In Mackay’s absence, assistant manager David Kerslake addressed a press conference that erupted in to a full scale battle with journalists demanding answers to why Mackay had not shown up.

Kerslake was asked on numerous occasions to explain why for the first time this season he had been placed into the hot seat. Each time, Mackay’s right hand man said: “I am here to talk about the Liverpool game.”

When asked if he had spoken to Mackay, he said: “I have come in this morning and was told to do the press conference.”

He did, however, claim that Mackay was in the club’s training facility ‘The Pavilion’, which is less trhan 100 yards from the hotel room where the press conference was staged.

On tomorrow's game, Kerslake said: “It is just another game. We are going to a wonderfully talented team and we have prepared this week as professionally as always and we are looking forward to the game.

“The manager prepares his team the same way every week. We are going up to a fantastic arena and we have enjoyed all season, outing ourselves into battle against the best.”

When asked how Mackay was coping, Kerslake said: “Without being boring, it really has been a normal week for us.

“I am here to talk about the Liverpool game so can we move on to that.”

He did say that the obvious behind the scenes issues surrounding Mackay’s flimsy position, would not affect the players. With regards to his own position, he said: “Every manager, every coach knows this is a precarious job, nothing changes.”

Thereafter, the conference ended quickly after an intervention by club officials who were angered by the constant questioning about Mackay’s position.

When Kerslake once again said he was only attending the conference to discuss the Liverpool game, one journalist said: “That is not good enough.”

Another journalist asked club officials to explain what was going on because Kerslake had been placed in an impossible situation.

The response was: “Malky is unavailable.”

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