Cardiff City’s former management team Malky Mackay and Iain Moody have both dropped their legal case against the club and “apologised without reservation” to the Welsh club’s majority share owner Vincent Tan in the latest twist of what has been a season out of the Twilight Zone in South Wales.
Former manager Mackay was the first to issue a startling press release thanking Tan for his support and acknowledging the Malaysian billionaire’s key role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League last season.
In his statement Mackay announced he has “reached a settlement agreement dropping claims I have made against Cardiff City Football Club”. Mackay added he had enjoyed his time in the Welsh capital and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity given to him by Tan.
Mackay acknowledged the role played by Tan in the club’s recent success stating “The club’s owner Mr Vincent Tan invested heavily in the club and supported our decisions in our push for promotion to the Premier League. Without him this would not have been possible”. He also added his unreserved apology for any offence caused to Tan.
Mackay’s statement also thanked the supporters of Cardiff City and wished all at the club well for the future.
If that was surprise enough Mackay’s former Head of Recruitment at Cardiff, Iain Moody, went public with his own apology. Moody, now Sporting Director at Crystal Palace, went on to say in strikingly similar fashion to Mackay:
"I have today reached a final settlement agreement with Cardiff City Football Club and am very pleased that all parties will now be able to make a clean break and move on.”
"Wherever mistakes were made during my time at the club, I wish to apologise for any part that I played in them, and for any offence I might have caused, particularly to Tan Sri Vincent Tan and all City fans.”
"My two-and-a-half years at the club were amongst the most enjoyable and stimulating of my career and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Tan and the club’s board for the support they showed me during that time.”
"There is no doubt that Mr Tan’s significant investment in the club was decisive in our success of reaching the Premier League so my personal thanks are particularly directed to him.”
There has been a further twist with WalesOnline also reporting that Mackay has walked away without any compensation, paying his own legal fees, in addition to issuing this public apology.
There have also been suggestions that whatever deal has been struck liberates Mackay from the legal proceedings and will now allow him to take up the reigns at managerless Norwich City.
However there will remain as many questions as answers for Cardiff City fans. When he was sacked Mackay was adamant that he and Moody had nothing wrong despite accusations from the Cardiff hierarchy of gross unsanctioned overspending. Vincent Tan was painted as the villain and to those outside the club it looked a cut and dry case of constructive dismissal. So why have Mackay and Moody relented now, especially if reports about Mackay receiving no compensation are true?
It begs the question: what really did happen last Summer?
Tan promised Cardiff fans the truth when the legal case was settled, but whether he produces answers that will satisfy a frustrated and perplexed support remains to be seen. There is also the issue of the club’s debt owed to Tan. The Malaysian also promised to address this issue and convert the debt into equity as soon as the Mackay/Moody litigation was over.
This now becomes a concern of the utmost urgency for Cardiff supporters and could be another key element that determines any future relationship between Tan and agitated supporters, whose campaign to return the club to its traditional blue playing colours has found new heat this week.
Rather than bringing calm to a stormy 2014 today’s events may only serve to stir up further turbulence in the months ahead.