Malky Mackay racism and sexism scandal: what did new Ross County manager say in text messages to Iain Moody?

Former SFA chief Malky Mackay is set to get his first manager’s job since 2015

Malky Mackay, who had a spell as Scotland interim manager in 2017, is set to take over at Ross County.
Malky Mackay, who had a spell as Scotland interim manager in 2017, is set to take over at Ross County.

Malky Mackay looks set to be confirmed as Ross County manager on Wednesday, marking his return to frontline football management after a six-year absence.

Mackay has been out of work since leaving his role as Scottish FA performance director in November 2020.

He looks set to take over at Ross County after John Hughes stepped down after saving the Staggies from relegation from the SPL.

Malky Mackay's last job as a frontline manager was in charge of Wigan Athletic in 2015.

Mackay has also managed Watford and Wigan and led Cardiff City to the English Premier League in 2013 prior to being appointed by the SFA in 2016.

His management career stalled after he was involved in a racism and sexism scandal from his time at Cardiff City, when details of text conversations between him and then-Cardiff sporting director Iain Moody emerged.

After conducting an investigation, the Football Association announced in July 2015 that it would not charge Mackay or Moody with any offences.

Mackay was appointed Wigan Athletic manager in November 2014, despite fan opposition, but lasted just 138 days before being dismissed on 6 April 2015.

What was said in the texts between Malky Mackay and Iaian Moody?

In 2014, the Daily Mail printed details of alleged text conversations between Moody and Mackay when both were at Cardiff.

The texts included:

"Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.” – On football agent Phil Smith.

"He's a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted.” – Referring to an official at another club.

"Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.” – Referring to a list of potential signings.

"Fkn chinkys.” “Fk it. There’s enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around.” – Referring to Cardiff midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung

"I hope she's looking after your needs. I bet you'd love a bounce on her falsies." – Referring to a player's female agent.

What did Malky Mackay say about the texts?

Mackay apologised via a statement released through the League Manager’s Association for sending text messages that were “disrespectful of other cultures”.

The statement was widely condemned for saying he was ‘letting off steam to a friend’ and was eventually deleted.

Mackay then spoke on Sky Sports about the situation. He said: “Out of 10,000 text messages out of someone’s phone, I sent three. That being the case, looking at them, they are completely unacceptable and inappropriate; for any offence caused I sincerely apologise.

"That’s something I did and there is no excuse for that. I did it in a period when I was under immense pressure and stress in terms of the relationships that were not going too well at my football club at the time.

“I’m a manager, I’m a leader of people and it shouldn’t have happened. But I am a human being and I made a mistake. I am no racist, I am no sexist, I am no homophobe and I’m not antisemitic. It’s the people that don’t know me that I have to convince.

“It was someone else’s phone that a vast array of private texts were lifted from, in and out of the phone. I’ve received some, the three that I sent are what I’m accountable for. What I’ve done here has been stupid and made a mistake in three texts. These are testing times but I’ve got values and resilience. I will come back from this.”

What have Ross County fans said?

Ross County’s Supporter Liaison Officer has expressed concern on Twitter about Mackay’s potential appointment.

He tweeted: “As Supporter Liaison Officer for @RossCounty I represent the concerns and views of the supporters.

“Regarding the rumoured imminent appointment of a new manager, I have expressed the concerns of the supporters directly to the club.”