Cardiff owner Vincent Tan speaks out at last
After acquiring a whole host of nicknames, becoming the butt of so many jokes, and the focus of criticism, Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has revealed his version of events over the past year.
The Championship side, who are 11/2 with Coral to achieve promotion back to the Premier League this season, have gone through two managers in the past year, with the club first dismissing Malky Mackay, and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a string of bad results in the second tier.
It materialised at the start of the new season that Cardiff were sitting on information that led to an FA investigation into wrongdoings by ex-manager Mackay. This was documented proof of racist, homophobic emails and texts which the south Wales outfit were keen to keep out of the media, and not report; however, regulations left them little choice.
Insisting that it was just bad timing that prevented him from getting the Crystal Palace vacancy, Tan said: “If the club discovers there is racism, you have to inform the FA, so we told [Mackay] that since we sacked him we were not going to inform the FA and ‘we’ll leave it to you.’ They didn’t do it for three months, so we were advised to or the FA could fine us.
“It so happens that it timed when he was supposed to get a job with Crystal Palace. People said we timed it like that but we didn’t, it was just too long,” he continued.
As far as Mackay losing his job was concerned, Tan could justify the decision for his dismissal as football reasons, despite an apparent lack of professionalism on the Scotsman’s part.
“I had no sympathy for him after what he had done. He is the man responsible for us being relegated; £50m to buy players so that we don’t get relegated.
“We spent more money than Hull and Palace, and we got relegated. People will say we got relegated because I quarrelled with him, but I didn’t. He didn’t talk to me for a few months.
“I arranged to meet up with him, it was nothing personal, but he refused to meet me.”
Following on from claims that he perhaps errs on the edge of eccentricity, Tan continued: “I don’t have a personal vendetta. I’m just doing what any normal person would do. I want to clear my image. I am not a madcap owner that the world thinks I am.
Although he hasn’t previously had a hand in managerial hires before, Tan is playing an active part in the recruitment of a new first team boss, with former Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade said to be the Cardiff owner’s favourite with only ‘paperwork holding up the appointment’.
Tan explained the situation, hoping to clear up any ambiguity and keep fans in the loop, also stating his ambition for the ex O’s manager: “I hope Russell Slade can beat Arsene Wenger’s record.”
“We now have a little problem with Leyton Orient but that is being sorted out.”
“Russell is helping us a little bit on consultancy until he can sort out his contract. Then we can officially hire him.”