Malky Mackay is back in football - and the Wigan chairman expects some criticism

Dave Whelan says Mackay’s appointment has been made “with our eyes open.”

Mackay: led Cardiff to the Premier League but was sacked following a high-profile dispute with club owner Vincent Tan.
Mackay: led Cardiff to the Premier League but was sacked following a high-profile dispute with club owner Vincent Tan.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

WIGAN CHAIRMAN DAVE Whelan expects criticism after the Championship strugglers appointed Malky Mackay as manager.

The Scot was confirmed as Uwe Rosler’s successor this afternoon, five months on from the revelation of racist, sexist and homophobic text messages he was alleged to have shared while at Cardiff City.

Mackay, who admitted that the messages were “unacceptable”, was the outstanding candidate to turn Wigan’s season around, Whelan said.

The Latics are currently in the relegation zone with just three wins from their opening 17 games.

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

Wigan faced opposition to Mackay’s appointment when their interest in the former Watford and Cardiff boss became known earlier this week.

In a letter to Whelan, local MP Lisa Nandy wrote that “I am sure Wigan Athletic would not appoint anyone without ensuring first that they have respect for other people regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion.”

Whelan moved to address the controversy head on today and said he hoped that the matter was now at an end.

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.

“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.”

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Niall Kelly

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