Crystal Palace sporting director Iain Moody resigned yesterday following allegations of misconduct by Moody and former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, scuppering the latter’s chances of becoming the next Palace manager.
The allegations are believed to concern the exchange of homophobic, racist and sexist texts between Moody and Mackay during their time at Cardiff City.
Crystal Palace issued a statement yesterday morning confirming Moody’s departure.
“In light of the events of yesterday, sporting director Iain Moody has tendered his resignation and it has been accepted with immediate effect,” the statement said.
The club will make no further comment on the allegations, which also destroyed Mackay’s chances of taking charge at Selhurst Park.
In a dramatic turn of events, Mackay – who was expected to be reunited with Moody at Palace this week – was removed from the race to succeed Tony Pulis on Wednesday evening.
In a statement released by the League Managers’ Association (LMA) last night, Mackay apologised for sending a “couple” of text messages that were “very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures.”
The messages were discovered during a search of 10,000 text messages exchanged between Mackay and Moody recovered as part of a Cardiff City investigation into alleged fraud relating to transfer dealings during their time at the club.
The LMA, however, were quick to deny that the former Scotland international sent messages of a homophobic or sexist nature, as has been widely reported.
“Malky is also very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports of his alleged involvement in these matters in the media. It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed that he did not do so,” the statement reads.
“Malky looks forward to matters being put straight in due course, following any investigation of this matter.”
Prior to the release of the LMA statement, Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of Kick It Out, urged the football governing bodies to take action in a statement released by the anti-racism group.
“Kick It Out is aware but not shocked to hear of reports revealing alleged racist, antisemitic, sexist and homophobic comments made by former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, and Iain Moody, the former Sporting Director at Crystal Palace,” he said.
“This familiar scenario acts as a challenge to the leadership of football that cannot be shirked again. The governing bodies and the clubs must denounce such attitudes prevalent in the game, and take the appropriate action.”
The FA confirmed in a statement that it is currently investigating the matter.
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan fired Mackay as the Bluebirds’ manager in December 2013 following a very public falling out, while Moody was dismissed in October 2013 as Cardiff’s Head of Recruitment, joining Palace the following month.
The Eagles have already faced off-field controversy involving Cardiff City following allegations by the Welsh club that the Bluebirds starting line-up had been leaked to Palace prior to their Premier League game last April, which Palace won 3-0.
Palace were fined up to £25,000 last week by the Premier League in relation to the alleged leak, while Cardiff have informed Palace and Moody that they intend to serve legal action for their involvement, with both parties denying any wrongdoing.
Keith Millen – caretaker manager since Tony Pulis’ departure just two days before the start of the current season – will remain in charge of team affairs for Saturday’s visit of West Ham.
KM: If you get results then the chairman might think I tick enough boxes to take this club forward.
— Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) August 21, 2014
Millen rates his own chances of getting the position permanently if the team can earn some positive results.
“If you get results then the chairman might think I tick enough boxes to take this club forward,” he said during a press conference yesterday. “My case becomes stronger if we win on Saturday.”
Former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, however, is the bookmakers’ favourite to take over at Palace, with Neil Lennon, Steve Clarke and Chris Hughton also in contention.