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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cardiff axe Malky Mackay

Cardiff City have confirmed that manager Malky Mackay has been relieved of his duties.

Morris: Tan wields the inevitable axe at Cardiff as Mackay departs

Mackay's position at Cardiff has been the subject of increasing uncertainty following a public falling out with owner Vincent Tan after the Scot was reportedly asked to resign or face the sack.

The ultimatum appeared to be lifted prior to Christmas only for a disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Southampton to intensify the pressure on Mackay.

And controversial owner Tan, who changed the club's traditional blue kit to red last season in a bid to make Cardiff more appealing to supporters in Asia, acted on Friday, axing the former Norwich and West Ham defender.

Tan stated that it was the public nature of his falling out with Mackay that had forced him into action.

"Far too much dirty linen has been exposed to the public gaze but, I stress, not by me," Tan said in a statement. "There has been a good deal of publicity generated by, and about, Mr Malky Mackay for the last few months.

"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."

Mackay, 41, was appointed manager of Cardiff in June 2011 and last season he led the club to promotion to the Premier League as they finished top of the Championship.

He released a statement through the League Managers' Association expressing regret at his enforced departure, saying: "It is with the deepest and most sincere regret that I today confirm my sacking as Manager of Cardiff City FC.

"As disappointing as today’s decision is, I am already able to look back at my time at Cardiff City FC with immense pride and joy given the number of milestones the Club achieved during the last 2½ years. A League Cup Final appearance followed by promotion to The Barclays Premier League for the very first time, achieved as winners of The Championship, allowed the Club a move back to this elite level after a 51 year absence.

“I have enjoyed my time immensely at this fine Club, in this great City, and throughout I’ve always attempted to put my own personal stamp on specific areas that I believe to be all-important, such as the implementation of a progressive culture as well a complete professional approach to all aspects of day-to-day management, that are required if you are to become a top Club - and more importantly to remain as one.

“I would like to thank my players, all of my direct footballing staff, all the people behind the scenes at the Club and most importantly the people of Cardiff, who have stood behind me resolutely throughout my time here and especially in these recent turbulent months. 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.

"The foundations laid at Cardiff City FC will provide a solid platform for my successor, and for the sake of the Club, I hope that all of the progress that has been made so far will not be impaired in any way by today’s enforced changes.”

Cardiff are currently 16th in the Premier League table, a point above the relegation zone after five wins from their opening 18 matches.

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