Big salaries? I smile w I hear it but it’s not my problem
I’VE said it. You’ve said it. We’ve all said it – moneybags Cardiff are spending their way out of the Championship. “I don’t know what the wage bill is,” said former boss Dave Jones after his Sheffield Wednesday side lost in the Welsh capital. “But they’ve got to go up because they’ve spent a fortune.”
Then there was Dougie Freedman, speaking in September while still manager of Crystal Palace.“Let’s not hide the fact that Cardiff are a very strong team,” he said.“They have spent a lot of money – £10 million in transfer fees and whatever wages they’ve spent. Malky Mackay is a lucky man.”
So is it just bitterness? Are we overegging the issue? Not really. Few Championship clubs could have signed two Premier League strikers in the summer, as Mackay did with Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson.
money other clubs have got.That’s not my problem.
“The fact is, nobody really knows what we pay people apart from me, our finance director and our chief executive.
“Yes the owner has allowed us to go and get people like Craig Bellamy. But last year it was all free transfers. And other than Craig, there’s no outrageous signings or big salaries. So I just have to smile when I hear that. It really doesn’t change my focus or distract from the job.”
Nevertheless, Mackay is at pains to stress that his recruitment policy amounts to more than waving a suitcase of cash around.
“Recruitment is key to the success of any club,” he says.“That’s why I had a big department at Watford and why I’ve got one here.
“Ability is important, yes, but it’s also the type of character. If you get someone with a big ego and he doesn’t fit in, he might help you Nor could they afford to raid promotion football-wise but he’s going to rivals for key players, as Cardiff did when cause you big problems in the squad unless the club’s colours were avai they swiped £1m winger Craig Noone dressing room. changed from blue to red. and from Brighton. “So you have to investigate The reason was that red is a ‘lucky’ be b
Not even Mackay can deny that his those things. I put a file together on colour in many east Asian countries bulk table-topping side, backed by Malaysian people, as much as I can find out and the change would thus boost “J owners prepared to invest huge sums to about their domestic situation shirt sales. You realise their Premier League dream, are and their personality. Cardiff have played in blue since dou flush with cash. “My staff and I have all got 1908, so there was – and still is – wan
Yet if money were everything, Leicesfriends who’ve been in dressunderstandable resistance from fans, usua ter would already be in the Premier ing rooms with people, who’ve but Mackay believes Cardiff’s success they League and QPR would be playing in coached them as kids and justifies the switch. have Europe. Does it not annoy Mackay that his adults.We’ll have friends who “Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I’ve “So would most of the Championship “T hard work in moulding a table-topping know them personally. And we played at Celtic so I know that tradition without individual backers and I think our tion side is routinely undervalued? talk to them all before we sign means a hell of a lot. But I also know fans understand we’re lucky to have him.” thre
“No, absolutely not,” he says in gloopy a player. that fans want to see good players Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Leicester and club Glaswegian. “Because I understand why “It’s not an exact science, come to the club. their 2-1 home win against Crystal Palace Cha people say it. Invariably, if an opposition but if it gives you that one per cent “I just asked them to back the boys on Boxing Day means City are top at the coup manager says it, he does so for a reason. edge over someone else, it’s worth and to be fair, and they certainly have. halfway stage and in great shape to bypass mier
“Sometimes you hear managers saying: it.” I think we played Newcastle in prethe play-offs, where they have been ‘We like to pass the ball’. And you know Of course, the cash has come at a season and it was the first time we’d beaten in each of the last three years.
lookM what that really means is:‘The other team price. Back in the summer, Malaysian worn the red strip. We won 4-1, all the So will Mackay be bolstering an already rest like to go long’. People try to deflect from owners Vincent Tan and Tien Ghee new players performed and there formidable squad in January? rule their own situation by talking about what (TG) refused to invest in the playing was a real excitement in the stadium “If someone with an X-factor becomes Mac that night. It hasn’t left since. I think it helps massively that they’ve seen the owner do the things he said he would – put money into the team and into the club.
“The man has put £40m into the club over four years.There aren’t many of those people around right now and without him, we would go the same way as Leeds.
REDBIRDS: Craig Noone (left), Heidar Helguson (right) and Malky with Craig Bellamy (below)