PEARLMAN SAYS: Cardiff City problems could impact on Newport County
6:02am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Sport
WE need to talk about Cardiff City.
Before Newport County fans get out their pitch forks - save them for when winter really arrives - it's clear that the current shenanigans in the capital have consequences for the Exiles.
I'm only too aware that some Newport fans reading this will be rubbing their hands with glee at the drama and don't believe mention of the Bluebirds is justified around these parts, but I strongly disagree.
Frankly, Cardiff City are the only story in town in regards to South Wales football this week and the implications of their boardroom meltdown definitely impact Justin Edinburgh's plans for this season and beyond.
It's clear that Malky Mackay is being treated appallingly by Vincent Tan, the club owner who in the past week took his reputation in British football from that of eccentric to Bond villain, inclusive of the dark glasses and natty attire.
I frankly preferred his Simon Cowell suited and booted with trousers at armpit level look with his resplendent red shirt over the top, but this isn't about sartorial elegance.
I'm a little caught in two minds as to how to feel about Cardiff's current predicament, with manager Malky Mackay being given an ultimatum to resign or be fired before earning at least a temporary reprieve on Sunday.
But we know from the sacking of Iain Moody and from his public proclamations of dissatisfaction that relations with Tan and Mackay are irreparably damaged, the terrific job done by the Scot failing to meet Tan's impossibly high aspirations.
The act of defiance from the Bluebirds fans -whoops, we aren't supposed to call them that in case it throws into chaos the plans for dominance in Asia over Manchester United and Liverpool by wearing red - was heartening.
Cardiff's supporters left the owner of their club in little doubt as to where their loyalties lie.
However, while it was an admirable stand and received maximum exposure coming as it did at media darlings Liverpool and Anfield, there is an element of this all being too little, too late.
It seems there is more of an outcry to Tan threatening to sack a popular manager than there was when he threatened to change the club colours and then lied about it when he was challenged, his initial U-turn nothing more than lip service.
However, when things are going well and the club is climbing into the Premier League, it's easy to turn a blind eye and tolerate things you might not like.
What's changed now? How can the essence of the club being altered not be a deal breaker, but the removal of one individual cause such a mammoth outcry?
However, from the County perspective, any stay of execution for Mackay can only be good news. That isn't up for debate.
Justin Edinburgh's best friend in football is Cardiff's assistant manager David Kerslake and he also has a close friendship with Mackay.
That relationship is beneficial enough in terms of idea sharing and a good dialogue, but in recent times it's been more than that.
The signing of Adedeji Oshilaja has been really key to the Exiles and there is hope at Rodney Parade that the deal can be extended for the entire campaign.
Hope, one would imagine, that Mackay and Kerslake will still be in position to sanction such a deal, and potentially others down the line.
Historic rivalries aside, Newport can do a lot worse than be an unofficial feeder club for the Bluebirds at this present time, the place where Cardiff's best youngsters can get their start in the Football League to everyone's benefit.
However, if Tan gets his wish - and surely no one doubts his wish is still to have his own man appointed manager - who knows where that leaves Newport's relationship with Cardiff?
It's interesting to guess how this process will play out with the battle lines drawn and Tan in no doubt he no longer has the supporters on his side.
Yet still, it's a little surprising he won't just bite the bullet and pay Mackay his compensation and sever ties. In the course of Cardiff's season, this period of uncertainty has yielded only a point or two and come the end of the season, that could prove fatal.
A sad situation, but one we've seen many, many times before.
It's a matter for incredulity that so many extremely successful businessmen - and Tan is certainly one of them - can make such perplexing decisions when they take charge of a football club.
It's unquestionably the fans that suffer. But whether or not Cardiff's protest and a genuine reaction from the Cardiff press has come in time, it seems doubtful indeed.
Cardiff needed a saviour and they desperately wanted Tan to be the right man to lead them to the Promised Land, ignoring all the warning signs that he wasn't, swallowing their principles for a shot at the big time. It's understandable.
However, sometimes, you must be really careful what you wish for.
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