Hibernian fans group brands appointment of Malky Mackay 'a disgrace'

Mackay's past has led some supporters to say they will not return while he is in post.

Hibernian supporters groups brand appointment of Malky Mackay ‘a disgrace’ and ‘disgusting’ SNS Group

Hibernian supporters groups have expressed their anger at the appointment of Malky Mackay as sporting director, describing the decision as “a disgrace” and “disgusting”.

The Easter Road club announced on Tuesday that Mackay had been appointed to the key role, with his past provoking a response from fans.

Mackay, who was most recently manager of Ross County, was at the centre of controversy in 2013 when he was sacked by Cardiff City.

The Scot was dismissed after messages of a homophobic, racist and sexist nature, sent between Mackay and his head of recruitment, were made public.

The English FA carried out an 11-month investigation that involved 27 witnesses but did not punish Mackay because the texts were sent with a “legitimate expectation of privacy”. However, the organisation did say that its policy was to be reviewed.

Mackay subsequently apologised and denied that he was a racist, sexist, anti-Semite or homophobe but voluntarily undertook diversity awareness training. He was later appointed as Scottish FA performance director.

Hibernian supporters have reacted angrily to his appointment, with one fans group, Block Seven, posting a lengthy statement online condemning the club.

The social media post read: “Today the club announced the appointment of Malky Mackay as sporting director. This is quite simply a disgrace of an appointment. With a track record of being racist, homophobic and misogynistic, he has no place at our club.

“Just two days ago against Aberdeen, the group displayed anti-racism banners to show that it has no place in not only football but the world we live in.

“To appoint this man just days later is nothing but an insult to the group for even making that statement in the first place.

“Furthermore, just ten days ago the club released a statement saying: ‘The club condemns any form of racist or discriminatory behaviour towards any player, official, staff member or supporter. It is completely unacceptable and has no place in the game or wider society. The club will take the strongest possible action against anyone identified in making discriminatory and hateful comments.’

“This man is not welcome at Hibernian football club and we will be making that clear.”

The Hibernian Women’s Supporters Alliance also criticised the club, saying “HWSA would like to put on record its disgust at the appointment of Malky Mackay as sporting director at Hibs.

“The women’s game is proud of how diverse and inclusive it is for all fans, however it has no place for anyone with a track record of racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments”.

LGBTIQ+ supporters group Hibees Pride said that they would be contacting the club to make their disappointment known and believe that the appointment undoes good work on inclusivity.

They acknowledged Mackay’s own steps but believe the club should still not have considered him for the job.

The group said: “While Malky Mackay has previously attended training to change his ways and educated himself, it is hard to believe that is enough to convince a club who proudly stands on a clear foundation of football for all.

“It is definitely not enough to convince the fans.

“This appointment throws all the good work of the club back in the face of the fans.

“The commitment to reducing barriers for all marginalised groups, especially condemning homophobia and racism in football, is something to be proud of and it would be impossible for Hibs to continue to claim Easter Road is a place welcome to all football fans while employing Malky Mackay.

“Hibees Pride are disappointed in Malky Mackay’s appointment as sporting director and will be making their clear to the club.”

Individual supporters also took to social media to vent their unhappiness, with some saying they would not return to Easter Road while Mackay was employed by the club.

Hibs did not address Mackay’s controversial past when announcing his employment, instead saying that they had found a candidate who would be “a huge asset” and had a “strategic vision”.

Majority shareholders the Gordon family said in a statement: “We’d like to welcome Malky and believe he will be a huge asset to our club and the football department.

“As the board conducted the football review, it became clear to everyone that not only did we need someone with experience of the Scottish game, but also a person who could help drive us forward both strategically and operationally.

“Early in the recruitment process Malky discussed his strategic vision for Hibs and the necessary framework to deliver success. Everyone at the club looks forward to working with him.”

Hibs face Motherwell at home on Wednesday night in the first game since Mackay’s appointment and the sacking of manager Nick Montgomery on Monday.

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