An Insane Text Message Scandal Is Taking Over The English Soccer World

In a scandal that grows more dizzying by the day, ex-Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay and team executive Iain Moody are under investigation by English soccer’s governing body for allegedly sending racist and offensive text messages.

The scandal involves revenge, racism, botched PR management, and, of course, soccer.

Here’s the full story (it’s a bit convoluted, but stick with us):

Mackay and Moody were both fired from Cardiff City last season. After they were gone, Cardiff owner Vincent Tan launched an investigation into eight transfers that he deemed too expensive. During the course of that investigation, Cardiff got access to thousands of staff text messages and emails. According to the Daily Mail, a number of the texts allegedly exchanged between Mackay, Moody, and other executives were racist, homophobic, and otherwise offensive in nature.

In one text, Mackay allegedly replied, “Fkn chinkys” after Cardiff signed a South Korean player in the summer of 2012.

Those texts were found last spring.

Fast forward to August of 2014.

Moody was now sporting director at a different EPL club, Crystal Palace. When Crystal Palace’s manager abruptly resigned on the eve of the 2014-15 season, Mackay was considered a frontrunner for the job.

Then, when it looked like Mackay was on the brink of getting hired, Cardiff turned over a “dossier” to the Football Association that contained the alleged racist texts. Many have speculated that the timing by Cardiff was deliberate.

In the span of 48 hours, Mackay pulled out of consideration for the job, the Daily Mail published the texts, and Moody resigned from Crystal Palace.

The scandal wasn’t over.

After the texts leaked on Thursday, the League Managers Association issued a poorly-worded apology on behalf of Mackay. They called the texts “friendly text message banter” and said Mackay was just blowing off steam.

Enraged by the tone of the apology, Cardiff issued their own statement calling for the head of the LMA to resign:

“We therefore find it entirely reprehensible that the LMA should itself put out a statement which seeks to dismiss deeply offensive racist comments as ‘friendly banter’

“If that is the view held by the LMA, as appears from its statement, we consider that Richard Bevan’s position is untenable and we call for his resignation.”

On Friday, the LMA deleted the original apology and apologized for it, writing:

“The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention.”

In the latest twist, Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has come out in support of Mackay.

Redknapp defended Mackay by saying he wasn’t a rapist or a murderer. Here’s what he told the Guardian:

“He’s not murdered anyone, he’s not a rapist or a paedophile. He’s made a big mistake. It shouldn’t finish his life or his football career. It’s going to take time for him to get back into the game. People get second chances in life who have committed bad crimes. Why shouldn’t he? He’s made a mistake but we’re not going to hang him for it, are we? Given time his life has to go on. Hopefully he’ll learn from the silly mistakes he’s made.


“It shouldn’t finish his life, should it? He’s a young man and a top manager. I feel really sad and sorry for what he’s done. I’m sure no one is suffering like him and his family are today.”

The scandal appears to be dying down as of Friday. But judging by what we’ve seen so far, you can’t rule out another key figure sticking his foot in his mouth.

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