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Malky Mackay

Malky Mackay
Norwich Career: 1998-2004 (232 appearances, 17 goals)
Current Club: Hibernian (Sporting Director)
Date of Birth: 19/02/1972 (Belshill)
Nationality: Scottish


Malky Mackay was born in Bellshill on 19/02/72. He started with Queen's Park and played 70 times in 3 season scoring 6 goals. He signed for Celtic in 1993. He didn't appear for Celtic in 1993/4 and only once in 1994/5 but came into the picture in 1995/96 with 11 appearances and then 20 in 1996/97 where he shared the number 5 shirt with Alan Stubbs. He joined Norwich initially on a 3 month loan on Friday 18th September 1998 following injuries to Matt Jackson and Kevin Scott. Bruce Rioch made the move permanent the following Monday, two days after Malky made his Canaries debut as substitute in the 2-1 defeat at John Deehan's Sheffield United.

The £350,000 outlay was good value for money. As a regular in the Canaries' defence, he was voted third in the 2000/01 Player of the Year Awards. He had another impressive season in 2001/02 in which he took on the captain's armband in the absence of Neil Emblen and Iwan Roberts through injury. Malky suffered an injury in the pre-season clash with Ajax on 27th July 2002 and missed the first few weeks of the 2002/03 season. He still ended the season with 41 appearances and 6 goals.

April 2004 was a very good month for Malky. Not only did Norwich win promotion to the Premiership, he was called up by Berti Vogts to the Scottish squad for the first time - his impressive form finally making an impression on Scotland's German manager. He was also named in the PFA Division One Team of the Year. He made his Scottish international debut on 28th April 2004 against Denmark which the Scots lost 1-0. At the age of 32, Mackay became the oldest man to make his debut for Scotland in 37 years. In total, Mackay won five caps for Scotland

Injured during the 2004 pre-season, Malky did not have a chance to play in the Premiership for the Canaries before they announced on 7th September 2004 that they had accepted a bid from Coventry City for him; much to the dismay of the Carrow Road faithful. Although the move to Highfield Road fell through, Malky moved to West Ham on 10th September 2004 for £300000. West Ham also brought in Chalrton's Chris Powell and Tottenham's Calum Davenport, on loan, to strengthen their defence. Malky made his debut the following day as substitute in the 2-1 win at Sheffield United, and his full debut a few days later in the 1-0 defeat of Rotherham.

On 15th August 2005, Malky transferred to Championship side Watford - again missing out on the opportunity to play in the Premiership despite winning promotion from the Championship with West Ham the previous season. For the third season running, Malky won promotion to the Premiership playing in Watford's Play-Off final victory over Leeds at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 21st May 2006.

Following Peter Grant's appointment as Norwich City manager in October 2006, Malky was linked with a return to Carrow Road as his assistant but stated that he wanted to return at Watford for their Premiership campaign. He was promoted to first team coach in Janaury 2007.

In October 2007, Mackay was linked with the vacant Norwich City manager's position following the departure of Peter Grant

In November 2008, Malky was named caretaker manager of Watford after Adrian Boothroyd departed from the club by mutual consent. His first game as a manager came on 9th November 2008 as Watford lost 3-1 at Swansea. Malky is being assisted by former Norwich first team coach Martin Hunter. After the posistion of Watford manager was given to Brendan Rogers, Malky returned to his position of first team coach

Following Rodgers' departure to take charge at Reading, it was, at the time of writing, expected that Mackay would be named Watford's new manager on 15th June 2009. This indeed materialised with Malky signing a three year contract.

In January 2011, he was linked with the managerial vacancy at Burnley along with Paul Lambert and Paul Cook. Mackay signed a new three and a half year deal with Watford on 4th March 2011.

Malky was appointed as Cardiff manager on 17th June 2011, replacing the sacked Dave Jones. Cardiff will pay Watford compensation for former Scotland defender Mackay estimated to be close to £300,000. Hornets owner Laurence Bassini said: "I'm disappointed to see Malky leave. I do, however, wish him the very best... as he begins work at his new club." The Bluebirds had an official approach for former Norwich and Celtic defender Mackay rejected by the Hornets on Wednesday. But after discussions at board level Watford "reluctantly" allowed Mackay to talk to their Championship rivals Cardiff. Watford replaced Mackay with his assistant Sean Dyche.

In his first season with Cardiff, they reached the League Cup final losing in a penalty shoot-out to Liverpool. They also reached the Play-off semi-finals. Malky was then quickly linked to the vacant Norwich position following Paul Lambert's departure to join Aston Villa at the beginning of June 2012

Mackay won the Championship title with Cardiff when they drew with Burnley on 20th April 2013. They secured promotion to the Premier League on 16th April 2013when they drew with Charlton. That result took Cardiff back to the top flight after a 51 year absence.

Following the annoucnement that Everton manager David Moyes would take over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United at the end of the 2012/13 season, Mackay was quickly linked by the media and bookmakers as one of the favourties to replace Moyes.

Despite winning promotion to the Premier League, Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan was critical of Mackay's transfer dealings, budgets, results and style of play, intervening in team matters. Things came to a head in December 2013 when it was suggested that Tan wanted Mackay to resign. Mackay refused but was sacked on 27th December 2013 following a 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton.

Mackay was linked to Notts Forest's vacancy at the end of March 2014 but reportedly turned it down.

After settling his differences with Cardiff at the beginning of May 2014, he was quickly installed by the bookies as favourite for the vacant Norwich City manager's position following Chris Hughton's sacking and Norwich's subsequent relegation to the Championship. He was also linked to vacancies at West Brom and Celtic.

In August 2014, bookmakers suspended bets on Mackay becoming the new manager of Crystal Palace, replacing Tony Pulis who resigned two days before the start of the 2014/15 season. It was expected that he would link with Palace's sporting director Iain Moody with whom he worked at Cardiff. However Cardiff reported Mackay and Moody to the FA for misconduct alleging that they sent text messages of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature while employed by them, according to the Daily Mail. Moody resigned from his role at Palace and Mackay apologised for the texts which he admits were "disrespectful of other cultures". Mackay, 42, says his texts were part of "friendly text message banter". "If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would wish to sincerely apologise," read a League Managers' Association statement.

The LMA says the club searched more than 10,000 private text messages and found two from Mackay that were "with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures".

"These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter," added the statement. "The LMA does not condone in any way any potential breach of equal opportunities laws but would also point out that out of over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time it may not be a complete surprise that some inappropriate comments can sometimes be made by employees, like Malky, working under great pressure in highly charged situations."

Mackay was said to be "very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports" of his involvement. "It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed he did not do so," said the statement. "Further, there are incorrect and damaging suggestions that he sent a whole host of offensive and unpleasant messages that are simply not true and which give a grossly distorted and unfair view of Malky's involvement in this matter."

He was appointed manager of Wigan on 19th November 2014, replacing Uwe Rosler, despite still being investigated by the Football Association after claims he sent texts of a homophobic, racist and sexist nature while at Cardiff. Wigan chairman Dave Whelan's decision to give Mackay the job caused widespread controversy, with former Brentford manager Leroy Rosenior claiming it made a mockery of the FA inquiry. Whelan himself was forced to apologise for comments he made about Jewish and Chinese people, given to the media in an attempt to defend his appointment of Mackay. Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, who sacked Mackay in December, branded Whelan "a racist".

Mackay was sacked by Wigan in April 2015. He was investigated by the FA for his inappropriate emails but they decided in July 2015 not to take disciplinary action.

Mackay was appointed Performance Director for the Scottish FA in December 2016 succeeding Brian McClair. In October 2017 following the departure of Gordon Strachan from the Scottish manager's position, Mackay was placed in interim charge for the November 2017 friendly with the Netherlands.

In June 2020 he was given permission by the Scottish FA to speak to Dundee United about their managerial vacancy; the post eventually went to Micky Mellon.

Mackay was appointed manager of Scottish Premiership side Ross County on 26th May 2021. The appointment came just two days after John Hughes resigned as he decided not to stay on after guiding the Staggies to Premiership safety on the final day of the season. Ross County said they feel they have appointed the right man. "In appointing Malky, the club feel we have an individual who has vast experience, essential leadership skills and strong knowledge of the game. As well as being a respected figure throughout football with extensive contacts that will be essential in developing the next chapter of our club. As well as having been a manager, Malky brings great experience at performance development level as well as in strategic-planning and governance."

He led them to a top six finish in his first season but experienced a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Partick Thistle at the end of the 2022/23 season to avoid relegation.

On 15th November 2023 Mackay was sacked by Ross County after a nine game winless run. They were second from bottom in the Scottish Premiership having won just two times in their first 12 games. They had also failed to score in half of their games. Chairman Roy McGregor said "Malky has brought so much more to the club and the wider staff than just football management. The board would like to put on record our thanks for his contribution over the last two-and-a-half years and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career."

On 14th May 2024 he was appointed as Sporting Director of Hibs. He will head the "entire football operation" at Easter Road as the Edinburgh club seek a sixth permanent team boss in just over four years, with the club sacking Nick Montgomery as head coach.

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