Neil Harris speaks on Cardiff’s decision to sack Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, with supporters still unsure at what caused the footballer’s departure.
The former Bluebirds winger was axed by the Welsh club following what they call a ‘serious breach of contract’ just days out from the beginning of the season.
The fanbase were dealt a major blow when they learned one of their best players had just had his contract terminated, many left questioning why and what happened.
— Paul Abbandonato (@PaulAbbandonato) September 9, 2020
The statement read: “Cardiff City Football Club has, with immediate effect, terminated the contract of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
“The club will not be making any further comment on the matter.”
Many had spotted Mendez-Laing take down his social media pages weeks before the announcement.
Some thought that, after he and his partner had just celebrated the birth of their first child, the player was seeking privacy in the off-season.
View this post on Instagram
On Friday morning, Mendez-Laing unblocked his social media, choosing to re-engage his Instagram page.
The only post he uploaded was a screenshot of a statement, issued on Thursday by his management.
It read: “Following on from [Wednesday’s] announcement that I have left Cardiff City FC, I would like to place on record my thanks to the fans for the support they have shown me over the past three years”.
“I will be making no further comment at this time.”
Fans are unable to leave comments on the post as the function has been disabled.
As his social media goes, the player had been through an undulating few months.
It was back in late June that he had his car smashed up and broken into on the night prior to the Bluebirds’ Championship return against Leeds United.
Before the game, he was staying at the Mercure Hotel on Newport Road in Cardiff because he lives away from the Cardiff area.
He posted the photos on Instagram and wrote: “Somebody broke into my car outside Mercure Hotel, Newport Road, Cardiff, if anybody hears anything lemme know.”
This meant that,Mendez-Laing had no choice but to order a taxi to Cardiff City Stadium ahead of the match.
It’s been like trying to get blood out of stone for media outlets and radio stations on the situation.
The club have been unable to make any further, official announcements following their initial statement.
Neil Harris however has spoke on Mendez-Laing and the club’s decision in his Thursday afternoon press conference.
He said he was bound by “legal protocol” not to tell too much information, but gave a clear indication of the gravity of the situation and the fact the decision was not taken lightly.
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) September 10, 2020
Harris, speaking on the issue for the first time at his pre-match press conference, said: “I have to be very careful what I say due to legal purposes, but I can confirm that Nathaniel’s contract was terminated for a serious breach of contract.
“The severity of it, of course, I was consulted by the football club. I have an excellent relationship with the board and the owner. It is a football club decision and I am a part of the club.”
Asked if he was comfortable with the decision to sack Mendez-Laing, Harris replied: “Yes. It’s a decision that hasn’t been taken lightly by the football club.
“It’s a serious decision that impacts on the football club and Mendez himself.
“A lot of thought has gone into it, but ultimately a decision was taken for the best interest of Cardiff City Football Club.”
Harris confirmed that Cardiff players were spoken to about Mendez-Laing’s departure on Thursday and that the Professional Footballers’ Association had been involved in the case.
“The players care about team-mates and they care about the industry they work in and understand the comings and goings within professional football, especially the senior players,” Harris said.
“Some senior players have been given as much knowledge as can be afforded to them, again for legal purposes.
“They deal with it accordingly, they run my dressing room. The players have been very understanding, and after it was discussed at the meeting, we quickly refocused and are prepared for Saturday.”
On the role of the PFA, Harris said: “They are always there to offer advice and support to their players and they did play a big part in this.
“They were informed and part of it all the way through.
“The PFA have a really tough job to do in difficult circumstances. They are a voice of reason and represent players and football clubs as well.”
Mendez-Laing’s representatives, Fifteen Eleven Management, issued a statement on behalf of the former Peterborough and Rochdale player on Thursday morning.
“Following on from (Wednesday’s) announcement that I have left Cardiff City FC, I would like to place on record my thanks to the fans for the support they have shown me over the past three years”, he said.
“I will be making no further comment at this time.”
User worcester_ccfc has claimed in a Cardiff City fan forum: “I am hearing there will be a court case , so it will all come out then.
“Mendez-Laing has deleted all his social media accounts ,I think something big is going to come out
“This could be hearsay / but I can only say what is being said
“Just be told he failed a drugs test and is involved in dealing what f*cking a waste of a career, such a talent.
“He was involved in drink / drive and other substances serious accident that’s how all this happened.
“I hope it’s not true, but it has to be bad to have contract terminated immediately.”