Cardiff have claimed that ”imprudent and careless management” has cost them ”in excess” of £8.5m over their signing of unsuccessful striker Andreas Cornelius.
Chief executive Simon Lim criticised the transfer policies of former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and Iain Moody, the ex-head of recruitment, in a statement released on Thursday.
Lim revealed the club effectively wrote off nearly £9million over Danish striker Cornelius, who has returned to FC Copenhagen after just seven months in Wales.
League Manager’s Association chief executive Richard Bevan hit back at Cardiff’s claims, branding Lim’s statement “inappropriate and unprofessional”.
“The key shareholders have made their dissatisfaction of such a huge loss known to the board of directors,” Lim said in the statement, “which they believe is due to imprudent and careless management undertaken by the previous football management.”
Cardiff’s chief executive also praised new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s work in the January transfer window – another veiled swipe at former boss Mackay.
Lim confirmed through the statement that Cardiff spent £6million on six permanent January recruits and the loan deal for Wilfried Zaha, and recouped £3million from player sales in the same period.
“This is good business for the club, where all participants were fully informed and an integral part of a process,” said Lim.
“There has been a lot of press speculation on the loss incurred by the club due to sales. This unfortunately is true.
“We took the hard decision to incur these losses for the good of the club.
“To commit the club to a significant cost and liability over a five year contract for one player is not prudent, especially as he was not to contribute to our success now, but was for the future.”
LMA boss Bevan criticised Cardiff’s statement, urging caution while legal wrangles continue between the club and its former manager.
“It is most unfortunate that Mr Lim has chosen to speak out in this way,” said Bevan.
“Mr Lim is aware that there is a legal process underway between Malky Mackay and Cardiff City and it is both inappropriate and unprofessional for either party to be making public statements of this nature at this time.
This is the same Mr Lim to whom, under the specific and express terms of Malky Mackay’s contract of employment with Cardiff City, Malky was obliged to report in respect of all matters pertaining to the transfer of players.
“This is the same Mr Lim who, when being asked more than once, upon dismissing Malky Mackay, why he was dismissing him, said that he did not know the reason.
“All football clubs at the elite level have systems in place for corporate governance.
“Cardiff City is no exception.
“A manager, even in the Premier League, does not go out and ”sign“ players.
“All recommendations go to his CEO and board, essentially the chief executive on the board’s behalf – deals with all financial arrangements to finalise any signings.”