Football managers association apologises for labelling homophobic texts as ‘banter’

The League Managers’ Association (LMA) has apologised for a statement it released which referred to allegations of racism, homophobia and sexism as “friendly text message banter”.

Allegations have been made that former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay and his then head of recruitment Iain Moody, were involved with a string of offensive text messages.

While Moody stepped down as sporting director at Crystal Palace amid the controversy, Mackay has disputed allegations that he sent the text messages, and said he will defend himself against the allegations.

An initial statement from the LMA read: “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. That said, Malky believes he could and should have conducted himself better on these two isolated occasions. The precise details need to remain private for the time being until any FA process is complete.”

Claiming not to condone the sending of such messages, the LMA continued to state that the search had been made of 10,000 text messages over a “long period”.

The statement continued: “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.”

It claimed that allegations that Mackay sent a number of text messages were false.

A new statement, put out today, read; “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.

“It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable. The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour.

“The LMA will not be commenting further on the allegations relating to Malky Mackay whilst the FA conducts its investigation, other than to repeat that both the LMA and Malky will be cooperating fully.

“We will continue to work with all of the game’s stakeholders to address the important issues of respect and discriminatory behaviour in all its forms.”