Cardiff fans to meet owner over the future of Malky Mackay
Cardiff's fans will get the chance to meet controversial owner Vincent Tan next week and will encourage him to instil some unity at the club after manager Malky Mackay was given an unexpected reprieve.
Tan appeared set to fire the popular Scot after issuing him with a resign-or-be-sacked ultimatum via email which baffled almost everyone in the game because of the stellar job Mackay has done at the club.
Tan has never been one to curry flavour, though - he changed the club's colour from blue to red - and it appeared that not even an outpouring of support for Mackay before, during and after Saturday's 3-1 loss at Liverpool could save him.
A change of heart came on Sunday, though, with chairman Mehmet Dalman issuing a statement which said: "As things stand Malky is in charge for the foreseeable future and will be until something else happens. I don't want to go game by game on this, with people asking if he will be in charge.
"The crisis for the time being is over. The emphasis as of today is for us to create space and dialogue."
That conversation will come not just with Mackay but with the club's fans.
The supporters' club and trust will meet with Tan before next Saturday's home game with Sunderland and encourage him to put the good of the club first.
"I think most fans were expecting the dreaded announcement today or tomorrow that Malky would be relieved of his duties so it is surprising. I think the strength of feeling, shown at the game, also comments by other managers across Britain, had some sort of influence as well," trust chairman Phil Nifield told Press Association Sport.
"We have got a meeting with Vincent Tan which was arranged before the e-mail debacle came public and that will take place on Saturday.
"We are hoping that will lead to a much better dialogue with the fans. We strongly believe he needs to rebuild a relationship with the fans and one way of doing that would be to announce that from next season we will be returning to play in blue.
"I think he has a lot to do to get the fans back on his side. We were delighted with his financial support, but this issue with Malky... Malky has done a fantastic job and has the support of the fans and we need to pull together."
There was unity in the stands at least on Saturday, with the Cardiff fans serenading Mackay and Tan with an adapted version of Billy Ray Cyrus' 'Achy Breaky Heart'.
'Don't sack Mackay, Malky Mackay, I just don't think you understand. And if you sack Mackay, Malky Mackay, you'll have a riot on your hands' they sang, to applause from the Liverpool fans as well.
"He (Tan) probably has underestimated (the reaction)," Nifield added.
"He's not used to, in Malaysia, people challenging his views and a major part of the problem is he's not involved himself in any dialogue with supporters' groups.
"He's issued statements without any consideration of the fans and I hope one lesson he learns is to communicate on a regular basis with the fans."
Sunday's statement was not issued by Tan either, with Dalman - who held late talks with Tan on Friday - making it clear that there was still work to be done to repair the fractured replacement between Mackay and his boss.
"I have spoken to Vincent Tan and he has agreed I can go into bat to try to bring a solution to this situation," he added.
"The important thing is that we try to find a way through this predicament. There's good will on Vincent's side. I've not had a chance to talk to Malky just yet, but I will obviously do that as well.
"We need to have further dialogue to see if we can get through this together for the good of the club, which is the most important thing."
Dalman added that the pair have patched things up before in the wake of the sacking of Mackay's respected head of recruitment, Iain Moody.
"We managed to create space for everyone to work together back in October and we have to see if we can do that again in order to move forward," Dalman said.
"At least we have a platform for dialogue, which gives us an opportunity to try to work our way through this.
"If we wish to work towards a reconciliation, Vincent Tan has offered us that opportunity to move towards that. If it works, it works.
"If it doesn't, it doesn't. But at least I as a responsible person and chairman of this football club have tried my best."