Thursday 20 November 2014 10:27, UK
Anti-racism group Kick It Out have issued a strongly-worded statement criticising Wigan Athletic for naming Malky Mackay as their new manager before the conclusion of a Football Association investigation involving Mackay.
Offensive text messages were released earlier this year which were sent between Mackay and Iain Moody, the former head of recruitment at Cardiff, who Mackay used to manage.
The texts were allegedly of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature, and the matter is still being investigated by the FA.
Mackay, who was sacked by Cardiff last December, has acknowledged that he made a mistake and he will now return to football with Championship side Wigan, who have handed the 42-year-old a rolling contract.
However Kick It Out think Wigan are wrong to have hired Mackay without waiting for the results of the FA probe.
A Kick It Out statement read: “The Football Association began investigating in August alleged racist, antisemitic, sexist and homophobic comments made by Malky Mackay and Iain Moody, and we are still yet to hear whether this is near to reaching its conclusion almost three months on.
“Where does the case now lie and how close are we to seeing whether The FA will take the appropriate action?
“Wigan Athletic have disregarded the ongoing investigation being undertaken by The FA, and any potential punishment Mackay may face, by taking the decision to appoint him.
“We need to see leadership, and a respect for the processes in place, shown by football club owners to demonstrate how seriously they take tackling issues of exclusion, prejudice and discrimination.
Wigan Athletic have disregarded the ongoing investigation being undertaken by The FA, and any potential punishment Mackay may face, by taking the decision to appoint him.
“It is essential high levels of conduct are maintained by those in positions of power such as club owners, boardroom officials, chief executives, managers, coaches and players, and we expect The FA, the Premier League, the Football League, the Professional Footballers’ Association and the League Managers Association to ensure these standards are upheld at all times.
“It remains to be seen if Wigan’s position is one which The FA and all of football’s so-called ‘family’ are happy with.
“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. We await The FA’s response before commenting further.”
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has defended the decision to hire Mackay and the FA have yet to comment on the appointment.