Belfast Telegraph

Malky Mackay vows to challenge series of ‘inaccurate’ claims

By Sam Wallace

The evidence against Malky Mackay and Iain Moody had become so overwhelming in recent months that Cardiff City gave their two former employees a choice.

First, there would be no pay-off from the club, no legal fee, and a fulsome apology to Vincent Tan, the club's owner. Finally, the two men were encouraged to report to the Football Association the sexist, racist and homophobic text messages they are alleged to have sent.

Mackay and Moody each complied with the apology which was issued in May and first suggested that the former manager's case against Tan was not as tight as his original £7.5m claim for compensation might have indicated. The self-reporting to the FA, however, never took place and, therefore, it was eventually decided that Cardiff would do that part themselves.

Mackay and Moody could hardly have thought it was not coming. Cardiff's lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, this year obtained a High Court search order, used in fraud cases, to go through Moody's house in search of emails and text messages.

The uncovered communications about "fkn chinkys", the "Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers", "the gay snake", the "All Blacks" remark about a list of black players and the unflattering comment about a female agent do nothing to dispel the image that some in the English game exist in a time-warp.

Caught out by the claims was the Crystal Palace co-owner Steve Parish who, 10 days ago, had a manager and a sporting director at the club. As of last night he had neither, and Glenn Hoddle, his second-choice to succeed Tony Pulis after Mackay, had also turned the job down.

It is understood that Parish urged Moody to resign on Wednesday night as details of the case against him emerged.

Moody finally resigned yesterday afternoon, bringing to an end, for now, an unlikely career in football. A former press officer at Watford, he was given greater responsibilities during Aidy Boothroyd's time in charge. He rose to be the director of football operations, a grand title for the man who made sure the training ground ran smoothly, until under Mackay his influence grew.

Having been sacked from Cardiff by Tan in October, Moody was recruited by Parish to help Palace after their chaotic summer transfer window last year. In the last week, Moody has been present at the interviews for all candidates for the Palace job, along with Parish and chief executive Phil Alexander. Parish tells people that Moody, multi-lingual, is an asset in dealing with player agents, especially those from overseas.

Moody's resignation suggests that at least one of the two men recognises his position in football is, for now, untenable. The statement from Mackay's agent Raymond Sparkes – which outlines his client's intention to challenge all allegations against him – suggests that his man is prepared to fight on.

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