Sport | Between the lines – Malky Moody after shock sacking

It sounds like the idea of a man whose knowledge of football extends as far as playing Fifa. You recruit a chief scout, Iain Moody, who has worked with your current manager before, a man with a wealth of experience, who goes on to transform the club from Championship challengers into a promising Premiership team, with signings in the last year including Peter Odemwingie, Steven Caulker and Fraizer Campbell. So far, everything seems fine.

And then without warning you sack him. Not only that, but you replace him with a 23-year-old whose work experience placement this summer involved ‘painting the walls of the Cardiff City Stadium’. His chief qualification seems to be that he is a friend of the son of Cardiff owner Vincent Tan and that he apparently spent ‘some time’ shadowing Moody. This being the case, anyone living in London would be wise to befriend any of Abramovich’s seven children or accept an invite to a birthday party of one of the kids of Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan a.k.a Manchester City’s owner, not to mention deputy Prime Minister of the UAE.

The appointment of such a young replacement is bound to unsettle supporters. Alisher Apsalyamov, the man in question, will be charged with ‘gathering data on individual players’, according to the club’s official statement, although this does not imply that he will actually do any actual scouting, something Moody could actually do and do very well indeed, in his role as CHIEF SCOUT. Most reacted with bemusement to the shock announcement, with one fan branding the new man ‘a painter and decorator from Kazakhstan’, with the Chairman also taking much of the flak for such a ludicrous decision.

However, what will be heartening to football fans (not Cardiff supporters mind you) is that however resigned you may feel to the fact that you will never be able to influence decisions at your own club, there is always hope that the owner will see enough in your painting and decorating to feel that you are equipped for one of the top jobs. It could come true, you never know.

Alex Bowmer

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