SPORT

Malky Mackay And Iain Moody Scandal Has Exposed English Football's Jingoism

21/08/2014 16:08 BST | Updated 21/08/2014 16:59 BST
Michael Steele via Getty Images
CARDIFF, WALES - JANUARY 24: Malky Mackay the Cardiff City manager celebrates with club owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun (right) and chairman Chan Tien Ghee (left) following his team's 3-1 victory in the penalty shootout during the Carling Cup Semi Final second leg match between Cardiff City and Crystal Palace at Cardiff City Stadium on January 24, 2012 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Koreans, Chinese, Israelis, homosexuals, females and even Welsh women were all, allegedly, ridiculed in a string of derogatory text message exchanges between the former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay and Iain Moody, who on Thursday resigned from his post as Crystal Palace's sporting director.

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Mackay even attended a Kick It Out anniversary dinner supporting their campaign a couple of months back, yet supposedly sent a picture of a "Black Monopoly", where every square was "Go to Jail" to Cardiff staff. Lord Herman Ouseley, Kick It Out Chair, was not "shocked" by the Daily Mail's jaw-dropping revelations.

Eight days ago, Mackay would have generated sympathy from within the football fraternity, never mind eight months ago, when Cardiff's pantomime owner Vincent Tan sacked him. Almost everyone said the Malaysian would regret it and Cardiff did go down, but Tan was not deluded when he suggested outsiders look for the shades of grey after Mackay dropped his compensation claim against wrongful dismissal.

"They should ask why he [Mackay] apologises? They should find out from him," Tan said in May. "Legally, I'm not supposed to say. I wish I could say. but I can't. Ask him why he apologises."

In the end, he didn't need to, thanks to some thorough investigative journalism from Matt Lawton. Eight Cardiff transfers are being scrutinised but that is a mere footnote, dwarfed by unabashed sexism, racism and homophobia. Mackay's grovelling apology in May is much clearer now.

Few disapproved of Palace's intentions to hire Mackay, unaware of his apparent conduct, but there was the odd social media dissenter. One informed tweeter described him as a "horrible horrible person" but could not expand on his comments due to legal reasons. Tan, previously likened to a Bond villain, has emerged as a hero. He not only sacked Mackay but has possibly prevented him from working in the Premier League again.

Tan was an easy target. He bastardised Cardiff's heritage by switching their home kit from blue to red for commercial reasons, booed the team off after drawing with Sunderland and, let's face it, Tan looks weird. He is, or was, just another megalomaniacal football owner ruining English football and Cardiff's return to the Championship boosted the "Tan out" narrative. Many, including this writer, will look back at some of the things they said and wince.

Yes, the man ridiculed for passing the risible "fit and proper" test has rid English football of a supposedly unfit and improper manager. Perhaps Tan should be hired to conduct these not-so-rigorous tests. Even Richard Keys, that banter doyen and defender of Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, publicly apologised to Tan. It's been a day for mea culpas.

How ironic and depressing it is that it has taken someone like Tan and his Machiavellian antics to hold up a mirror to the Premier League. Richard Scudamore's "Frankie Howerd" schtick was treated frivolously when he actually sounded misogynistic, as his Premier League attack dogs scoured through articles detailing his edifying emails, suggesting that passages be amended or corrected.

If it is proven Mackay and Moody are guilty of the vile messages, they are not the first men in football guilty of offensive and derogatory language. But it is the specificity of some of the comments ("a gay snake") and the diversity of the wide-ranging topics that made Moody's position untenable and Mackay unemployable for Palace.

Keys and Andy Gray were proven to have humiliated Charlotte Jackson and referred to Jamie Redknapp's former girlfriend as "it". Their Sian Massey exchange was not an isolated incident and Sky Sports' concerted effort to deny them a way back into British broadcasting was reignited earlier this year, when another video emerged of the duo urging Clare Tomlinson to "get her tits out" shortly after Gray commentated for BT Sport on Everton's FA Cup tie at Stevenage. It is a moral vendetta, just like Tan's.