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Soccer-Mackay apologises for 'disrespectful' messages

Reuters

(Writes through with Sherwood ruling himself out of Palace job)

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has apologised for sending text messages that were "disrespectful of other cultures" after he was ruled out of the running to take over at Premier League Crystal Palace on Thursday.

The League Managers Association (LMA) issued the apology in a statement on Thursday after a British newspaper printed what it said were messages Mackay and a colleague at the club had sent during his time at Cardiff.

The LMA also said the Football Association was looking into the conduct of Scot, who was the preferred candidate to replace Tony Pulis at Selhurst Park before allegations were published.

"In the course of a search ... of 10,000 private text messages ... it emerged that Malky had, it seems, sent a couple of one line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures," read the statement.

"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.

"If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would, however, wish to sincerely apologise."

The LMA said it did not condone the messages but said allowance should be made for the fact that they were included in "over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time".

The text messages under scrutiny were exchanged between Mackay and Cardiff's then head of recruitment, Iain Moody, according to the Daily Mail report which broke the story.

Moody left the Welsh club at the end of last year after being suspended by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan and joined Crystal Palace as sporting director, a role he resigned on Thursday.

"In light of the events of yesterday, sporting director, Iain Moody has tendered his resignation and it has been accepted with immediate effect," a Palace statement read.

The LMA statement said Mackay denied suggestions he had sent homophobic and sexist messages.

"It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed that he did not do so," it added.

"Malky looks forward to matters being put straight in due course, following any investigation of this matter."

Former Scotland defender Mackay, who was sacked by Cardiff in the final days of 2013 after a public disagreement over transfer spending, had been expected to take charge of Palace and reunite with Moody this week.

Pulis, who was Premier League manager-of-the-season for 2013-14 after his work steering Palace away from relegation, rocked the club by standing down as boss two days before last week's opening fixture against Arsenal.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has turned down the job after an approach from Palace co-chairman Steve Parish on Wednesday, according to reports in the British media.

Tim Sherwood, who took charge of Tottenham Hotspur for six months last season, also ruled himself out of the running, Sky TV reported.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon is now the bookmakers' favourite to replace Pulis with another former Spurs manager, Martin Jol, also in the mix.

Until an appointment is made, however, Keith Millen, who oversaw the opening 2-1 defeat by Arsenal on the opening day of the Premier League, will continue in charge of the first team. (Writing by Toby Davis/Patrick Johnston/Martyn Herman/Nick Mulvenney, editing by Tim Collings and Pritha Sarkar)

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