Mackay appointed Wigan boss

Mackay appointed Wigan boss

Malky Mackay is back in football after Wigan confirmed the Scot as their new manager.

The 42-year-old, out of work since being axed by Cardiff last December, takes over a club in the Sky Bet Championship’s bottom three.

In August, Mackay admitted to sending text messages which were deemed “disrespectful of other cultures”, but Latics chairman Dave Whelan has offered him a route back into the game just three months later.

Local MP Lisa Nandy had last week written to the club to express concern over Mackay’s potential appointment and Whelan confirmed he did discuss the text-message saga during the interview process.

“I know that this appointment will draw criticism in some quarters but we go into it with our eyes open and we have nothing to hide on this subject,” Whelan said in a statement published on the club’s official website.

“Malky made a mistake, he knows that, we know that and we have discussed this issue at length face to face. He apologised publicly for what happened at the time and has paid for what he did in terms of the bad publicity he has received since and will no doubt continue to suffer in the future.

“But I believe that it is now time to move on. Contrary to the way he has been portrayed in recent months, the Malky Mackay I met this week, and who has been vouched for by the many different people from whom we have sought advice before making this appointment, is an honourable man.

“He is a committed family man with decent values and is a professional who has worked and thrived for over 20 years in the multi-cultural world of modern football. There is nothing more to say about this subject, and as far as I am concerned we draw a line under it from today.”

Mackay took Cardiff to the League Cup final in 2012 before winning the Championship title in the next season.

Such achievements have impressed Whelan, who is desperate to restore Wigan to the top flight 18 months on from both their Premier League relegation and their FA Cup triumph.

Whelan added: “He is the man to lead us back into the Premier League, I am convinced of that having met him and discussed the demands of the job ahead of him.

“He has led a team out of the Championship before and he knows this league inside out having played and managed in it.

“His achievements at Cardiff City were magnificent and we need a strong leader who will command the respect of a very experienced and talented dressing room - and he is the man to do it.

“I am delighted we have secured the services of someone who has so much to give to the game.”

Wigan’s club captain Gary Caldwell, who played alongside Mackay for Scotland, also backed the appointment.

Speaking before it was made official, Caldwell told talkSPORT: “I know Malky from playing with him for Scotland and he’s a great guy, and a stand-up, honest man.

“I would have no problems working with him and no problems at all speaking to him.

“He’s done a great job since he’s been a manager. He’s had that experience of promotion with Cardiff and we want people at the club who know how to get success and get us back to where we want to be, and that’s the Premier League.”

The Football Association announced in August that they were investigating the dossier of messages between Mackay and Iain Moody, Cardiff’s former head of recruitment, but so far no charges have been brought against either man.

The Scot said he is not racist, sexist, homophobic or anti-Semitic but accepted his behaviour had been ''completely unacceptable''.

Mackay engaged in sending what have been reported as discriminatory, mocking texts, with the controversy apparently costing him the chance to get back into management with Crystal Palace.

Speaking at the time, Mackay said: ”Out of 10,000 text messages in and out of someone’s phone I sent three and that being the case, looking at them they are completely unacceptable, inappropriate and for that and for any offence I’ve caused I sincerely apologise for that.

”I’ve received some but the three that I’ve sent are the ones that I’m accountable for and I feel I shouldn’t have sent them.

”I did it in a period where I was under immense pressure and stress in terms of the relationships that were possibly not going too well at my football club at the time.

”But that doesn’t excuse anything and was unacceptable.”

He added on Sky Sports News HQ: ”I’m a manager, I’m a leader of people and it should not have happened. But before all that and foremost, I’m a human being and I made a mistake.

”I’ve been in a multi-cultural football environment for 20 years.

”I love British football and I am no racist, I am no sexist, I am no homophobe and I am not anti-Semitic.”

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