The Hairdryer

Cardiff City right to be angry with Malky Mackay

The Hairdryer

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Cardiff and Malky Mackay appear headed for a messy divorce after the club reacted angrily to Mackay's public demand for transfer funds in January.

There is a lot of sympathy for Mackay, a seemingly decent man doing the best he can to keep his team in the top flight.

Meanwhile owner Vincent Tan is cast as yet another megalomaniac foreign owner, undermining the gaffer with meddling and micromanagement.

The same foreign owner who appointed a 23-year-old Kazakh as head of recruitment and - damningest of all - wears his trousers very high indeed. Quite the lunatic.

But let's look at the facts. Mackay spent heavily in the summer - chief executive Simon Lim says £50 million, respected website transfermarkt says £33.5m.

Whatever. It was lots of money - Tan's money - and nobody was sold to balance the books.

Having splashed big on the likes Gary Medel, Steven Caulker and Andreas Cornelius (£7.5m, no goals), Mackay thinks he needs more in January. And he might be right.

He said: It would be great if we can bring in three quality additions to the squad.

"I would look to strengthen all three departments in terms of a defender, a midfielder and an attacking player.

"I will talk to my chairman who will then discuss it with his board of directors and our owner and I will take my lead from them."

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up a minute. You're telling the press about your plans to spend more of the board's money, and you haven't spoken to them yet?

It speaks volumes about managers' sense of entitlement that Mackay - an apparently level-headed man - thinks this is an acceptable course of action.

This is real money, and it's not yours. What kind of a world are you living in, where you think the manager should just receive a constant stream of transfer funds, with no imperative to balance the books?

Yes, Cardiff were newly-promoted and needed to strengthen, but it's not your money, Malky. It's Vincent's.

Now perhaps Simon Lim didn't need to respond the way he did - declaring Tan "extremly upset" and accusing Mackay of "unfairly raising supporter expectations".

But you can understand his annoyance at the manager bypassing the club's entire hierarchy and telling the world of his plans in the transfer market.

Football exists in a strange world where the manager is a monolithic figure, subject to no restrictions, answerable to no-one.

The tales from the 1960s of Brian Clough spending Derby chairman Sam Longson's money without his knowledge are not only looked at indulgently - they seem to represent some warped ideal of how the game should work.

But in no business does - or should - anybody plough infinite resources into a project without taking at least a passing interest in where there money is actually going.

Cardiff's ownership may not be perfect, but they are right to be furious with Malky Mackay.

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Alex Chick

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