CARDIFF -- Cardiff fired manager Malky Mackay on Friday following a destabilizing power struggle with owner Vincent Tan.
The Scotsman was dismissed only five days after being told by the club he would remain in charge for the "foreseeable future."
But despite that assurance, there was a caveat that Mackay had to heal his rift with Tan, which seemed unlikely given the owner's apparent refusal to meet with him in recent months.
The Malaysian owner and Mackay clashed over the dismissal of head of recruitment Iain Moody in October. And Mackay's future at the south Wales club seemed to be doomed when he received an ultimatum last week from Tan to resign or be fired in an email that listed grievances against the manager.
The lingering uncertainty over Mackay's future fuelled protests against Tan's running of the club at matches, with the tensions overshadowing Cardiff's first season in the Premier League.
Now the team is in a struggle to stay in the league, with a loss to Southampton on Wednesday leaving them only a point above the relegation zone.
Tan fired Mackay on the eve of Saturday's match against last-place Sunderland.
"The Board of Directors at Cardiff City Football Club have today relieved Malky Mackay of his duties," the club statement said Friday. "A new first team manager will be appointed and announced in due course."
The bookmakers' favourite for the job is former Manchester United forward Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who has established himself as a manager in his home country of Norway, winning the league twice with Molde.