Ahead of Liverpool's match with Cardiff City, Brendan Rodgers isn't pulling any punches, as he has put his opponent's owner, Vincent Tan, on blast.
Tan has earned Rodgers' ire after reports surfaced that the club's manager, Malky Mackay, and Tan are feuding over transfers and the manager's job may be in jeopardy. The team's former head of recruitment, Iain Moody, was also sacked this season, and the combination has caused Rodgers to publicly critique Tan.
Here are Rodgers' comments, according to the Press Association via The Guardian:
I find it incredible all the talk about Malky, who I know well from working with him at Watford. I find it astonishing what he has had to go through. This is a guy [Tan] who walked into Cardiff after they had lost in the play-off semi-finals and they waited two weeks to sack the manager Dave Jones on the day we [Swansea] were in the final—which I found strange.
Malky walked into the club with 10 players that summer and he totally transformed the mentality of the club. He took them to the Carling Cup final, to a play-off place and just lost out and the following season took them to the championship and promotion.
He has had great results this season and is going to go on and be a great manager at a big club and I find it absolutely astonishing there is talk about him leaving there.
I worked with Iain Moody at Watford, one of the most authentic people you could ever meet. My only conclusion is you have a business guy operating the club who knows absolutely nothing about football. He has obviously been a successful businessman—congratulations but football is like no other business.
When I see what Malky has had to put up with, to see him being questioned I find it remarkable. Especially when supporters there look up to him and respect him for what he's done.
Here's video of Rodgers giving his opinion of Tan:
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For what it's worth, Phil McNulty of BBC Sport feels Mackay is being handed a raw deal as well:
Malky Mackay absolutely right not to resign as Cardiff City manager despite owner Vincent Tan's criticism. Has done an outstanding job there— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) December 18, 2013
David Ornstein of BBC Sport also had more information on Mackay's situation at Cardiff:
BREAKING: Tan tells Mackay resign or be sacked. Tan emailed explosive letter to Mackay on Mon listing grievances. Story across BBC now #ccfc— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) December 19, 2013
But you have to give him this: He felt a fellow manager was being poorly treated—or at least disrespected—and he immediately stepped up on Mackay's behalf. If nothing else, the matchday 17 between these two teams will feature plenty of mutual admiration from the managers.
Of course, Tan has generally been a controversial figure at Cardiff. He infuriated the supporters by changing the club's colors from blue to red in 2012, and even further angered them when it was rumored the club might change its name to Cardiff Dragons.
Then there was Moody being replaced by Alisher Apsalyamov, a friend of Tan's son. That created the rift between Mackay and Tan, and one that has only widened after Tan said in a statement he was upset that Mackay would request any transfers in January, that "not a penny" would be spent and that the reason Moody was replaced in the first place was due to overspending.
Still, it's pretty rare to hear a manager take potshots at another club's owner.
Perhaps Rodgers thinks he can kill a few birds with one stone—not only supporting a fellow manager, but also arousing the frustrations of both the players and supporters with their owner.
If nothing else, a distracted Cardiff side favors Liverpool.