I should start by making it clear that I have absolutely no problem with Malky MacKay being given a second chance in football.
We all make mistakes and, if we’re honest with ourselves, there’s probably a few text messages and emails we’ve all been party to that we’d hope never see the light of day.
But, some roles just aren’t appropriate for MacKay given what he was accused of in the past and I think appointing him as the SFA’s new Performance Director is, frankly, a complete joke and absolutely deplorable.
Firstly, it shouldn’t be forgotten just how vile and disturbing the text messages that were attributed to MacKay back in 2013 were.
This wasn’t just a few off-colour jokes or some bad-taste remarks, MacKay was caught spouting full-on homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and racist views – it was really repugnant stuff.
This week, I’ve heard various high-profile characters from within Scottish football go in to bat for MacKay; from Barry Ferguson to Brendan Rodgers, and everyone seems keen to underline the fact that MacKay has apologised profusely and undergone various different educational programmes over the past three years or so.
That’s all well and good, but what sort of message does this appointment send? If you’re caught holding views that offends just about every minority in society, it’s no barrier to one of Scottish football’s top jobs? Is that what we’re supposed to glean from this?
If MacKay had been appointed manager of a Scottish Premiership club side I might be a bit more understanding, and defend his right to earn a living. After all, his stint in England showed him to be a pretty talented coach.
But effectively putting him in charge of the future of Scottish football, where he’ll be a role model for the players and coaches of tomorrow? Give me a break. Everyone deserves a second chance, sure, but there are some jobs which should be put out of reach if you’ve been caught saying the kind of things MacKay said,end of story.
Across Britain, we make such a big deal of “kicking racism out of football” and try to teach kids how abhorrent and damaging things like racism and homophobia can be.
But in one fell swoop, the SFA have undermined the hard work done by various anti-racism campaigns by appointing MacKay. To me, they’ve trivialised the views MacKay was accused of holding.
And something that seems to have been lost in the midst of all of the controversy surrounding MacKay’s appointment is whether or not he’s even properly qualified for the post.
What particular experience does MacKay have when it comes to structuring youth strategies? Or shaping an academy ethos? Surely there must be another young and vibrant coach somewhere out there, without all of Mackay’s baggage, who was comfortably better qualified?
Have the SFA cast their net wide enough to find Brian McClair’s replacement, or have they simply given it to someone they’re comfortable dealing with and who is well liked in the corridors of power inside Hampden?
Finally, I’d be willing to bet good money MacKay was only interested in the Performance Director’s position because it’s just about the only job he could get at the moment.
What happens if an English Championship club, or even a Premier League club, decides they want to take a chance on MacKay 18 months down the line? Where does that leave the SFA then?
By the sheer number of question marks I’ve used writing this article, the only conclusion I can draw is that MacKay’s appointment creates many more queries than it does answers.
In this week’s show, Daniel is joined by talkingbaws.com editor Jonny Boyle as they talk about Celtic’s unbeaten run, hard hats, strikers, Mark Warburton’s Plan B, Malky Mackay at the SFA and much more.