Mackay’s appointment has sparked controversy given he was the subject of an 11-month investigation by the SFA’s English counterparts over a series of text messages exchanged between himself and his head of recruitment, Iain Moody, while he was Cardiff manager.
The FA took no action, citing Mackay’s expectation of privacy and his voluntary undertaking of programmes to educate himself on equality issues. And Regan feels the former Celtic and Scotland defender’s commitment to self-improvement can be passed on to the game.
Speaking at a Hampden media conference to announce his appointment, Regan said: “We accept Malky has made mistakes: he said things that were regrettable. But he has shown genuine remorse and we were impressed and encouraged by the actions he has taken since coming out and apologising for what he said.
“He has undertaken of his own volition diversity and equality training and has lectured on that to a number of different organisations.
“We actually believe that Malky will be a force for good for Scottish football. He will be part of our equality and diversity strategy and be a real advocate for the role.
“It’s up to Malky to prove to people that he can be part of our equality and diversity strategy and for people to judge Malky by his actions and how he behaves going forward.”
Mackay claimed his knowledge of such issues was now better than most and asked to be judged on his future actions.
Both men confirmed that the SFA had known about legal action from Cardiff which emerged in fresh newspaper reports on the morning of the appointment.
Mackay said: “Three years ago I apologised publicly and in front of cameras. I apologised privately for the three texts to the two gentlemen that I spoke about.
“And for the last three years I have been involved in diversity and equality meetings and basically been on an education to the point where I probably know more about it than anybody in this room in terms of them actually going on to talk to young players and coaches concerning it.
“It’s something I have been involved in in London, Birmingham, Manchester and abroad. That’s something I think I am now pretty well versed in.
“I suppose in any part of what you do it’s about educating yourself generally. In the last couple of years I have been seeking out best practice all over the world in football and other sports. You are educating yourself and I think that can make you better in any field you are involved in.”