Malky gets backing of anti-racism group

Malky Mackay
Malky Mackay

Former Wigan Athletic boss Malky Mackay’s impending appointment as performance director of the Scottish Football Association has been backed by an anti-racism group.

Show Racism the Red Card Scotland has wished Mackay well in his significant new role, which is expected to be confirmed this week and will put him in charge of overseeing the development of elite young players in Scotland.

Malky Mackay has been through an education programme and we hope that this will have changed his attitudes and made him more aware of appropriate and inappropriate language/behaviour

Nicola Hay

The former Cardiff and Wigan manager was the subject of an 11-month investigation by the Football Association surrounding alleged racist, sexist and homophobic text messages sent between himself and Ian Moody, his head of player recruitment with the Bluebirds.

The FA decided not to bring charges “in respect of private communications sent with a legitimate expectation of privacy’’ but that decision was condemned by a number of organisations, including anti-discriminatory group Kick it Out, the Jewish Leadership Council and Women in Football.

Mackay denied being racist, sexist or homophobic and the FA stressed during its announcement in July 2015 that the former Celtic defender had voluntarily undertaken equality and diversity training.

SNP MSP Clare Haughey claimed Mackay’s appointment would “risk sending a message that bigotry is no barrier to a top job in Scottish football, a particularly terrible message to send to the young players of tomorrow”.

But Show Racism the Red Card Scotland believes the 44-year-old deserves the chance to revive his career.

Chief executive Ged Grebby said in a statement: “After admitting to sending text messages that were very regrettable and disrespectful to other cultures Malky Mackay underwent equality and diversity training through an education programme with the FA and we wish him well in his new role at the SFA.”

The organisation’s campaign manager, Nicola Hay, added: “SRtRC firmly believes that education is key in combating homophobia, racism and racist attitudes, Malky Mackay has been through an education programme and we hope that this will have changed his attitudes and made him more aware of appropriate and inappropriate language/behaviour.”