Good luck to Malky Mackay at Ross County. The new Staggies boss is going to need it.
County fans were still coming to terms with the surprise news John Hughes would not be staying at the club after keeping the Staggies in the Premiership when news of an even bigger shock broke on Tuesday.
It is the understatement of the week to say the news of Mackay’s return to the dugout after a six-year absence has been mixed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson must be delighted at Roy MacGregor’s attempts to take the heat off him and the whole Dominic Cummings’ expose of how the Government handled the Covid pandemic last year.
Some County fans are prepared to give their new manager a chance, but many have been quick to express their outrage at Mackay being given the job.
We’re strongly AGAINST the reported appointment of Malky MacKay.
He should be nowhere near the game with the views he holds towards other human beings and we’ll protest against this appointment in any way we can.
You’re not welcome here.
— Staggies View (@staggiesview) May 25, 2021
Mackay has not worked in club football for six years and it has nothing to do with his ability.
Having served his apprenticeship at Watford, Mackay can count leading Cardiff City to the League Cup final for the first time and promotion to the Premier League on his CV. He was named Championship manager of the year by the League Managers Association in 2013, too.
It all turned sour by December that year, however, as Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan sacked Mackay. He was set to return to in August 2014 with Crystal Palace, but allegations of misconduct from Cardiff were made to the FA, resulting in Mackay dropping out of the race for the job.
The allegations were serious, with text messages made public which were racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic in nature.
Wigan would offer him a chance at redemption in November 2014, but the criticism came from all corners. Kick It Out were critical, while Wigan’s shirt sponsor withdrew their backing following his appointment. He lasted 138 days.
Mackay returned to Scotland for a role of performance director with the SFA, but his actions from Cardiff followed him and he again drew criticism, although Kick It Out praised him for receiving equality and diversity training from the FA.
But the fact has remained clubs have shied away from giving him another chance – until now.
Mackay does not need to explain himself. His story is well-known. You could even argue six years is long enough to serve his penance and he is entitled to another chance. Others in Scottish football have been given a second opportunity, so why should he be denied?
It is the County chairman who needs to explain to supporters of his club why Mackay is the man who can help Ross County “uncover our identity again” as he put it on a club interview at the weekend.
🗣️ "It's about what Ross County is, what does it stand for, what does it represent and what does it represent for its fans"
Club Chairman Roy MacGregor gives an honest and revealing end of season interview to RCFCTV’s Rory Hamilton as he looks to the future.
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) May 25, 2021
MacGregor has never been one for taking the easy option, but the path he has chosen with this appointment will not be easy.
Many County fans have been left disillusioned by this appointment. Others simply want answers.
The issues mentioned above need to be addressed as does the fact, not only has Mackay never worked at club level in Scotland since hanging up his boots in 2008, but he hasn’t been coaching at any club since 2015.
Taking into account the obvious baggage with comes with this appointment, they want – no, need – to hear what has convinced the chairman Mackay is the man to lead the club into a new era.