Having made a solid start to their return to the English top flight after a 51-year absence, Cardiff’s season could be thrown into disarray following a boardroom tangle that has seen one of Malky Mackay's trusted lieutenants suspended.
Head of recruitment Iain Moody, who followed Mackay from Watford when the Scot took the job in June 2011, has been suspended with Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov having stepped into the breach in an acting capacity.
Apsalyamov, 23, has been at Cardiff since February, as executive assistant to CEO Simon Lim. However, WalesOnline report that Apsalyamov had been shadowing Moody for the last couple of weeks.
The fact Apsalyamov has reportedly no experience in football is likely only to further the murmurings of discontent that have been emerging from the Bluebirds camp with reports that the players and board have been at loggerheads over end-of-season bonus payments.
Astonishingly, the Daily Mail reports Apsalyamov had a far more menial task when first arriving at the club.
"Initially brought in to assist the club’s stadium maintenance team three months ago, Apsalyamov was painting walls initially," writes the paper. "More recently, though, the 23-year-old has recently been watching Cardiff’s games on a laptop as if to prepare himself for a new role."
Moody is believed to have been the driving force behind the recent acquisitions of Steven Caulker, Gary Medel, Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Fraizer Campbell - players who have become mainstays in a team that has won two, drawn two and lost three of their opening seven games.
The reasoning behind Moody's suspension remains a mystery but the appointment of Apsalyamov, thought to be a friend of owner Vincent Tan's son, will no doubt reinforce a view that Tan is looking to take a more hands-on approach to his ownership in the wake of the news that Cardiff's players were reportedly unhappy with his forays into the dressing room on matchdays.
- Sports & Recreation
- Malky Mackay