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Ross County appoint Malky Mackay to succeed John Hughes

The former SFA performance director returns to the dugout in his first SPFL job.

Ross County appoint Malky Mackay to succeed John Hughes SNS Group

Malky Mackay is the new manager of Ross County, succeeding John Hughes in charge of the Premiership club.

The County board have agreed a deal for Mackay to lead the club after their fight against relegation was successful this season.

Mackay has been out of work since leaving his post as the Scottish FA’s performance director last year and the County appointment marks his return to frontline management for the first time since 2015.

A County statement read: “In appointing Malky, the club feel that we have an individual who has vast experience, essential leadership skills and strong knowledge of the game.

“As well as being a respected figure throughout football with extensive contacts that will be essential in developing the next chapter of our club.

“As well as having been a manager, Malky brings great experience at performance development level as well as in strategic-planning and governance. This was clearly shown during his tenure as Performance Director at the Scottish FA, where he was also proud to take interim management of his national side.

“Ross County FC very much feel like this is the start of a new chapter on our journey and look forward to supporting Malky in every way possible to help drive the club forward.”

The 49-year-old was last in charge of a club side at Wigan, having previously manager Watford and Cardiff, where he was sacked over a scandal involving racist and sexist text messages.

Following an FA investigation, the governing body decided it would not bring disciplinary action against Mackay, because the policy was to not bring charges for alleged misconduct in messages which were intended to be private.

It did warn Mackay about inappropriate language, however, and the Scot voluntarily undertook equality and diversity training.

Ahead of Mackay’s appointment, County’s supporter liason officer Kenny MacLennan said that he would be making the club aware that some of the support had concerns about the manager’s past.

“MacLennan tweeted: “As Supporter Liaison Officer for @RossCounty I represent the concerns and views of the supporters. Regarding the rumoured imminent appointment of a new manager, I have expressed the concerns of the supporters directly to the club.”

County began the search for a new manager after Hughes left the club to “pursue new opportunities”, having guided the team to safety from relegation.

The Staggies finished the season in tenth place in the league, one place above the relegation play-off place, having ended the season with 39 points from 38 games.