FORMER Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay sent text messages that were “disrespectful of other cultures”, the League Managers Association (LMA) said in a statement last night after he was ruled out of the running to take charge of Crystal Palace.
The LMA said the English Football Association are looking into the conduct of the former Celtic centre back and Scotland international during his time at Cardiff City amid reports he sent messages of a racist nature.
Mackay was Palace’s preferred candidate for their vacant manager’s job before allegations of misconduct emerged.
“The LMA wish to clarify the position in relation to recent reports and speculation regarding matters alleged to have arisen during Malky Mackay’s time at Cardiff City FC,” the association’s statement read.
“In the course of a search by the club in early 2014 of 10,000 private text messages sent to and from another member of staff during Mr Mackay’s employment at Cardiff, in relation to other matters, it emerged that Malky had, it seems, sent a couple of one line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures.
“These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter. That said, Malky believes he could and should have conducted himself better on these two isolated occasions. The precise details need to remain private for the time being until any FA process is complete.
“The LMA does not condone in any way any potential breach of equal opportunities laws but would also point out that out of over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time it may not be a complete surprise that some inappropriate comments can sometimes be made by employees, like Malky, working under great pressure in highly charged situations.
“If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would, however, wish to sincerely apologise.”
The text messages under scrutiny were sent between Mackay and Iain Moody when the pair worked together at Cardiff, according to reports.
Moody left his role as head of recruitment at the Welsh club at the end of last year after being suspended by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan and Mackay was sacked in the final days of 2013 after a public disagreement over transfer spending.
Moody joined Crystal Palace as director of football soon afterwards when Tony Pulis was taking over as manager of the South London club. He led them to an 11th place finish in the Premier League last term, while Cardiff were relegated. Palace said Moody had resigned yesterday.
“In light of the events of yesterday, sporting director, Iain Moody has tendered his resignation and it has been accepted with immediate effect,” a Palace statement read.
Pulis, who was named Premier League manager of the season after his work steering Palace away from relegation, rocked the club by standing down as boss two days before last week’s opening fixture against Arsenal, which the Eagles lost 2-1.
Mackay had been expected to take charge of Palace and reunite with Moody this week ahead of Saturday’s London derby at home to West Ham United.
Media reports had suggested the messages in question were also homophobic or sexist, a claim Mackay refutes.
“Malky is also very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports of his alleged involvement in these matters in the media. It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed that he did not do so,” the LMA statement added.
“Further, there are incorrect and damaging suggestions that he sent a whole host of offensive and unpleasant messages that are simply not true and which give a grossly distorted and unfair view of Malky’s involvement in this matter.
“Malky looks forward to matters being put straight in due course, following any investigation of this matter.”
It was also reported yesterday that former England manager Glenn Hoddle, who has just recently taken an assistant coach role at London rivals Queens Park Rangers, had turned down the Palace job after an approach from co-chairman Steve Parish on Wednesday.
Tim Sherwood, who took charge of Tottenham Hotspur for six months last season, is now favourite to replace Pulis with another former Spurs manager, Martin Jol, also in the mix.
Until an appointment is made, however, Keith Millen, who oversaw the opening day Premier League game at Arsenal will continue in charge of the first team.