Proud Malky Mackay leaves through the front door
Sacked Cardiff city boss holds his head high
Malky Mackay feels he can walk away from Cardiff with his head held high after his sacking as Bluebirds' boss.
The Scot's exit from Cardiff City Stadium was confirmed yesterday afternoon as his tumultuous relationship with owner Vincent Tan came to a close, 11 days after the Malaysian issued an ultimatum that Mackay resign or be sacked.
But having led the club to a League Cup final and a Championship title, Mackay believes he leaves good foundations for his successor to build on.
"I leave with my head held high having gained a level of experience that, upon reflection, I suspect would have been difficult to find anywhere else in British football," he said in a statement.
"The foundations laid here at Cardiff City will provide a solid platform for my successor and for the sake of the club I hope the progress that has been made so far will not be impaired in any way to today's enforced changes."
Mackay also spoke of his sadness at leaving Cardiff after two-and-a-half years at the helm.
"It is with the deepest and most sincere regret that I today confirm my sacking as manager of Cardiff City Football Club," he said.
"As disappointing as today's decision is, I am already able to look back at my time at the club with immense pride and joy given the number of milestones the club achieved during the last two-and-a-half years.
"A League Cup final appearance followed by promotion to the Premier League for the very first time, achieved as winners of the Championship, allowing the club to move back to this elite level after a 51-year absence."
Tan claimed the decision to dispense with the services of Mackay was down to the Scot airing the club's "dirty linen" in public.
Mackay has often said he has felt sorry for the club's fans as Cardiff have found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons on several occasions.
But the unrepentant Tan laid the blame for that firmly at his former manager's door.
"There has been a good deal of publicity generated by, and about, Mr Malky Mackay for the last few months," he said in a statement.
"Indeed, far too much dirty linen has been exposed to the public gaze but, I stress, not by me. Indeed, I have deliberately not responded to this, hoping that the club can be judged on its football rather than personalised arguments about who said what to whom.
"I have, however, regretfully concluded that it is no longer fair to the club, its players, its fans and the public more generally for this uncomfortable state of affairs to continue.
"Cardiff City Football Club means far too much to us all for it to be distracted by this."
The League Managers' Association also responded to Mackay's sacking. Chief executive Richard Bevan said: "We are all very disappointed for Malky and the club.
"We must recognise that in over two years as manager, he has set very significant club records including guiding Cardiff to their first ever League Cup final.
"Also leading the club to promotion to the Barclays Premier League for the very first time, notably this ended their 51-year absence from the top flight and duly he was named the Championship Manager of the Year.
"Malky has an excellent record of success with the club and he should be commended with the manner in which he has conducted himself with such integrity during what, for him, has been an extremely difficult period."
Former Manchester United striker and Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is among the favourites to replace Mackay, while Sven-Goran Eriksson and Turkish journeyman Yilmaz Vural have also been suggested as potential candidates.
Vural's agent had mischievously tweeted that "explosive" events lay ahead at Cardiff.
Muzzi Ozcan tweeted: "The story is coming to a End in Wales and a new story will be born ... The next 48 hours will be explosive !"
When news of Mackay's sacking broke, he added: "New page has been turned over as I said .... Wish the best for MM."