Malky Mackay finds his Wigan Athletic side eight points adrift of maintaining their Championship status for the 2015-2016 season.
2011 proved to be a platform for Scottish football manager Malky Mackay, after being hired as Cardiff City manager in June that year and winning the hearts of the people of the Welsh capital. Come the eve of 2014, he would be wondering where those times went and still uncertain on what the future held for him.
So, what exactly happened to Malky Mackay?
After Mackay won promotion to the Premier League with his former Cardiff side at the end of the 13/14 season, everything seemed to be cloud nine from there on in. However, after spending big on players in the summer prior to the Bluebirds’ first season in the top flight, tension between owner (Vincent Tan) and manager seemed to have risen.
“In an ideal world, I would like a midfielder, striker and a centre-half.” said Malky when asked his wish-list for the January transfer window. News broke out shortly after this interview when Cardiff owner Vincent Tan responded to Mackay’s January desires, stating: “You won’t be getting a single penny.” raising many eyebrows as to why this comment came from the Malaysian billionaire.
It was revealed that not only had Mackay overspent on players, but was also at the centre of an F.A policing investigation. Malky was sacked after a 3-0 home defeat to Southampton on the 27th December 2013.
It emerged that some of the allegations related to text messages considered to be of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature sent between Mackay and his former colleague at Cardiff City, Ian Moodey.
Many questions were raised in the ongoing investigations into Malky Mackay’s texting scandal, after North Korean international footballer Kim Bo-Kyung (victim of the texting scandal) reunited with his former boss at Wigan. Did that indicate no hard feelings between player and manager, or was Kimbo in desperate need to play football once again after being released by current Cardiff City boss Russell Slade?
When Wigan were set to host Cardiff City on the 24th of February 2015, there were allegations that Cardiff owner Vincent Tan (also victim to the texting scandal) instructed his board to boycott the game, leaving only coaches, players and fans associated with Cardiff City to attend the match at the DW Stadium. The Cardiff board declined Wigan’s invitation to the directors box and instead opted to sit with the travelling fans from South Wales. It was a protest against Wigan, who they believed was a “racist club”. Quite a statement. This was prompted when owner Dave Whelan backed his decision to hire Malky Mackay as Wigan Athletic manager in November 2014.
Whelan was fined £50,000 last year for making racist comments about Jewish and Chinese people and served a six-week ban from football.
Mackay has found it difficult since taking charge of his Wigan Athletic side, only managing to take 15 points from a possible 57. However, since suffering defeat to his former Cardiff City side, despite the warm reception he received from the travelling fans; Mackay has managed two wins out of his last three and seems to have reconnected his philosophy with his current side. Maybe it was the wake-up call he and Wigan so desperately needed?
It must be difficult, having to manage a side in turmoil with an F.A investigation riding on your back. Although, there is a reason why the Cardiff City faithful still miss Mackay. With the determination, desire and fighting spirit Mackay has shown at his former clubs as a player and manager, I believe he has what it takes to keep Wigan up and fight from there on in. Only time will tell…