Malky Mackay has been appointed the Scottish Football Association’s performance director, three years after he was sacked by Cardiff City amid claims he had sent racist and sexist texts to a colleague.
He succeeds Brian McClair, who left the post summer after a little over a year in the post.
The former Wigan Athletic and Cardiff City manager, who will be in charge of overseeing the SFA’s attempts to produce young players, said: “I am immensely proud and privileged to become performance director and I am acutely aware of the importance of this role in achieving future success for our talented young players.
“As someone who was fortunate enough to develop as a young player at Queen’s Park and realise my dream of playing for my country at the national stadium, this feels like coming home.”
The SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, said: “From the start of the recruitment process, Malky was an outstanding candidate and by the end of that thorough process he was the outstanding candidate. His experiences as a player and a manager are complemented by his strategic outlook and commitment to implement many of the exciting proposals the performance working group have discussed in recent months.
“Malky will spend the initial weeks and months immersing himself in these recommendations and speaking to all relevant groups to provide a future framework that is conducive to meeting our shared objective: to provide a better standard of player for the benefit of our clubs and, ultimately, our national teams.”
Mackay was the subject of an English FA investigation in 2014 concerning text messages he had sent to Cardiff City’s former head of recruitment Iain Moody. He apologised for his actions and stated a desire to return to football.
Mackay’s agent, Raymond Sparkes, told BBC Scotland that the FA’s investigative committee had examined 9,000 texts exchanged between Mackay and Moody – of which only three sent by Mackay were found to have been unacceptable. Mackay immediately apologised and underwent diversity training.
Lord Ouseley, the founder and chairman of the Kick It Out anti-racism group, said he believed Mackay now had a “better understanding” of diversity issues and deserved a second chance.
Hia agent added: “If you were to know Malky Mackay, you would know him as a good man, from a good family, with good values.
“He is a talented individual, he has had three years of not being able to take his place back in a place of employment on the back of three text messages.
“We know why that penalty has been placed upon us, we have dealt with it, we want to get back to work and we didn’t just apologise now – we apologised then.”