The club said Mackay was in charge for the “foreseeable future” last Sunday, but after a fraught start to the season under owner Vincent Tan, the Scot has been dismissed.
A Cardiff statement read: “The board of directors at Cardiff City Football Club have today relieved Malky Mackay of his duties.
“A new first team manager will be appointed and announced in due course.”
The club are believed to have spoken to four potential candidates to replace Mackay, who led Cardiff to the 2012 League Cup final and secured the Championship title last term.
Mackay is the sixth managerial casualty this season, following Paolo di Canio, Ian Holloway, Martin Jol, Steve Clarke and André Villas-Boas.
Cardiff have scored just five goals in their last 10 Premier League games and won four of their 18 fixtures overall. The loss to Southampton has seen them slip down to 16th in the table, but Mackay’s relationship with the beleaguered Tan has worsened since the Malaysian dismissed head of recruitment Iain Moody in October.
Moody was replaced by 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov, who has no experience in football and is a friend of Tan’s son. Calamitously, Apsalyamov had to step aside temporarily over a visa issue and Moody has joined a resurgent Crystal Palace.
Earlier this month, Tan was reported to be “extremely upset” after Mackay said the Bluebirds needed to make three signings in the transfer window. It prompted Tan to email Mackay and issue him with the ultimatum that he resign or be sacked.Mackay’s record were,he played 125 games,won 54,drawn 37 and loss 34.
Tan also criticised for Mackay for the £32.35 million Cardiff spent in the summer, when they broke their transfer record three times, bringing in Andreas Cornelius for £7.5m, defender Steven Caulker for £8m and then midfielder Gary Medel for £11m. He was also critical of Mackay’s style of play, results and performance.
Mackay’s sacking will cost Tan in the region of £3m, since the former Watford manager’s contract ran until 2016.
The timing of Mackay’s departure is ironic, since whoever replaces him will take charge in time for the opening of the winter transfer window, yet Tan is ostensibly reluctant to delve into the market again.
Former Manchester United striker and Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been installed as an early favourite, although he said in the past Sir Alex Ferguson has advised him to work for a reputable owner.
Cardiff’s supporters, who have grown increasingly exasperated by the reviled Tan in recent weeks, could revolt despite the club asking them not to bring “Tan out” signs to the Cardiff City Stadium.
Several Cardiff followers reacted with fury when Tan changed the club’s home kit from blue to red last year, as part of a “major and significant” investment pledge to expand the club’s appeal in “international markets”. Tan also apparently wants to rename the club “Cardiff City Dragons”.
Since his sack ten managers has been listed to replace him,and they are to be subjected to a thorough screening process.