Writer: Whittingham's Left Peg
Date:Sunday December 22 2013
Chairman Mehmet Dalman is once again playing peacekeeper between our owner and manager and has released a very sensible, and well worded statement, given recent off pitch issues.
Some may have thought that the club had been eerily silent in terms of making any official comments when it came to recent issues that kicked off following Malky Mackay making innocent comments in response to a question about the January window, but I imagine the club are somewhat between a rock and a hard place, and having worked very hard previously to find a common ground between Tan and Mackay, Dalman is unfortunately 'at it' again so to speak.
The statement was released on our Official Site and the opening words state that it's a been 'challenging week off the field' for everybody at the club, and Dalman talks about the need for 'structured and open' dialogue between both parties in order to find the best possible solution for all concerned.
'My definition of diplomacy is to create space for dialogue. I have spoken to Vincent Tan and he has agreed I can go to bat to try to bring a solution to this situation. The important thing is that we try to find a way through this predicament. There's goodwill on Vincent's side. I've not had a chance to talk to Malky just yet, but I will obviously do that as well. We need to have further dialogue to see if we can get through this together for the good of the club, which is the most important thing.'
Dalman goes on to say that previously, and back in October, that space was created where everybody could work together and provide stability again as we look to achieve our aims of maintaining our Premiership status, and that will be the aim again this time round to see if he can help achieve the same sort of space for continuity. He does say though that this time round we already have a platform for dialogue which does give him and those involved the opportunity to find a clear path through this.
'If we wish to work towards a reconciliation, Vincent Tan has offered us that opportunity to move towards that. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But at least I as a responsible person and chairman of the club have tried my best.'
Dalman obviously has his own position to consider in this, but he reiterates that he again will not be taking sides in the matter, he'll be focusing on doing the best for the club and trying to fix it because he knows the club can't exist and attempt to reach our aims if a cloud remains over us.
'Let's see if we can fix it. We can't keep having the club under a cloud, so this is it. We managed to get two or three months leeway last time and we need to create something similar again. I'm not putting a time scale upon this, but we have to try to.'
Dalman goes on to say that given Tan is in the country for a period now, that will help dialogue because of him being physically here, but with speculation rife about potential replacements, he also goes on to say.
'I can tell you categorically that I, as chairman, have not initiated any dialogue with anybody else. Can we go out and get another manager? Of course we can. But I've read and heard so much nonsense about us speaking to four different candidates and that sort of thing, it's simply not true.'
Clarifying that he does have Tan's word that should a common ground not be found again here in relation to Malky, that the board will have the responsibility of securing a new manager themselves, but Malky remains in charge and he will be for the foreseeable future until this process is exhausted and a non fixable impass is reached.
'I don't want to go game by game on this, with people asking if he will be in charge. If I had one wish for Boxing Day, it's that they (fans) don't hold up 'Tan Out' or 'Malky In' banners, but rather one that says 'Talk to each other.'
With regards to the whole 'resign or be sacked' speculation and the immediate fear that we'll all wake up to news that Malky had left overnight, Dalman says the 'crisis for the time being is over' and says the emphasis from today onwards is to find the space for dialogue and for everybody to move forward.
Even if space is found, I'm pretty confident the manager wouldn't just want another quiet few months but with the thought at the back of his head that it'll only be a matter of time before something blows up again, so one way or another there does need to be a permanent reconciliation here because a temporary one, whilst better in terms of managing the press, is only a ticking time bomb as we've already seen.
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Date:Sunday December 22 2013
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