Premier League - LMA: Mackay texts were 'friendly banter'

The LMA has released an extraordinary statement saying that Malky Mackay is "very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports", and that alleged racist text messages were "friendly banter".

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Premier League - LMA: Mackay texts were 'friendly banter'
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Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay (PA Photos)

However, the LMA did add that the text messages sent during Mackay's employment at Cardiff were "regrettable" and that the ex-Watford boss wished "to sincerely apologise" if he caused offence.

The LMA put out a statement on behalf of Mackay after it was confirmed that the Football Association were investigating a dossier sent to them by Cardiff reporting sexist, racist and homophobic comments by the ex-Bluebirds boss and the club's former head of recruitment Iain Moody.

Additionally, Mackay's LMA statement admitted responsibility for "a couple of one line" text messages - saying they were mean to be light-hearted attempts to let off steam - but rejecting claims he had written "any homophobic or sexist messages".

The alleged text messages and emails exchanged between Mackay and Moody were discovered by Cardiff as they investigated the pair's transfer dealings. Moody and Mackay were sacked by Cardiff last season, with owner Vincent Tan accusing them of overspending in the transfer market.

The disclosure to the FA of these texts and certain emails led Crystal Palace to withdraw their offer to Mackay at the 11th hour. Moody is also resigning from his job at Palace, who he joined last season.

OUR VIEW

The LMA's use of the colloquial term "banter" to describe such texts - sent in a professional capacity - well, it's perplexing to say the least.

'Banter' is widely acknowledged to be a euphemism for risque comments made among friends, but is often misused as a defence for insults or general misconduct. And it certainly has no place in an official statement in response to serious allegations.

Regardless of one's views on political correctness, two senior executives discussing acquisitions and strategy in a multi-million pound business cannot refer to colleagues or suppliers in this manner, using official company devices. There is an implication that the ethnic background, sexuality or gender of individuals has some bearing on decision making, as highlighted with comments about a list of players "not [having] many white faces" and of a new signing from Korea being a "fkn ch**ky".

The nastiness and specific targeting of the abuse against co-workers makes it particularly troubling. It is idiotic at best and discriminatory at worst, and surely - whether the FA is able to punish Mackay or not - clubs will think twice before employing him.

FULL LMA STATEMENT

The LMA wish to clarify the position in relation to recent reports and speculation regarding matters alleged to have arisen during Malky Mackay’s time at Cardiff City FC.

In the course of a search by the Club in early 2014 of 10,000 private text messages sent to and from another member of staff during Mr Mackay’s employment at Cardiff, in relation to other matters, it emerged that Malky had, it seems, sent a couple of one line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures. These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter. That said, Malky believes he could and should have conducted himself better on these two isolated occasions. The precise details need to remain private for the time being until any FA process is complete.

The LMA does not condone in any way any potential breach of equal opportunities laws but would also point out that out of over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time it may not be a complete surprise that some inappropriate comments can sometimes be made by employees, like Malky, working under great pressure in highly charged situations. If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would, however, wish to sincerely apologise.

Malky finds it strange that these matters were only raised with the FA and in the media now, 8 months after his employment ended and the day before he was reported as being offered the opportunity to become manager of Crystal Palace FC.

Malky is also very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports of his alleged involvement in these matters in the media. It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed that he did not do so. Further, there are incorrect and damaging suggestions that he sent a whole host of offensive and unpleasant messages that are simply not true and which give a grossly distorted and unfair view of Malky’s involvement in this matter. Malky looks forward to matters being put straight in due course, following any investigation of this matter.

Malky cannot of course comment on the nature of any conduct or communications alleged to have been made by others.

Malky has said that he will be fully co-operating with any FA investigation and that he looks forward to putting the record straight thereafter.

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