WIGAN last night came under fire from equality campaigners after handing former Cardiff boss Malky Mackay a return to football despite an ongoing probe into claims he sent racist, homophobic and sexist text messages.
Kick It Out called on the Football Association to clarify whether it backed the Championship club’s chairman Dave Whelan’s assertion that there was “nothing in the pipeline” regarding the FA’s investigation.
Mackay appeared set for the Crystal Palace job in August until allegations emerged he sent discriminatory messages which he said were “unacceptable, inappropriate” but had numbered no more than three.
“Wigan have disregarded the ongoing investigation being undertaken by the FA, and any potential punishment Mackay may face, by taking the decision to appoint him,” Kick It Out said in a statement. “The FA now needs to move swiftly to let everybody know whether they agree with Wigan’s position or whether they will reinforce their own zero-tolerance stance on all such matters of equality and diversity.”
Whelan said he expected criticism but that “we go into it with our eyes open and we have nothing to hide on this subject”. He added: “Malky made a mistake; he knows that, we know that. He apologised publicly and has paid for what he did in terms of the bad publicity. But I believe that it is now time to move on.”
“I made mistakes,” Mackay, 42, said. “I’m absolutely not racist. I’m a big man.”