Former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has escaped punishment over his controversial exchange of text messages with Iain Moody.

The English Football Association announced on its website on Thursday it would not be taking any action after a lengthy investigation.

It said it had spoken to both Mackay and Cardiff’s former director of communications Moody about the inappropriate nature of the language used, but deemed that the messages were sent “with a legitimate expectation of privacy”.

The governing body said both individuals had acknowledged that such terms were not acceptable and pointed out Mackay has voluntarily undertaken equality and diversity training.

Mackay led Cardiff to promotion to the Premier League in May 2013 but he was sacked the following December after falling out with club chairman Vincent Tan.

The 43-year-old Scot became manager of Cardiff’s Championship rivals Wigan in November 2014 but was sacked in April as relegation to League One, the English third tier, loomed.

The FA said the messages, sent between June 2011 and March 2014, were obtained by Cardiff in March 2014 and provided to them the following October.

“The FA has undertaken a thorough and detailed investigation in connection with inappropriate language contained within text messages and an email sent by Iain Moody, and text messages sent by Malky Mackay when they were employed by Cardiff City FC,” said the FA statement.


“To date, the FA’s policy in cases such as this has been to not bring charges in respect of private communications sent with a legitimate expectation of privacy.

“The FA’s investigation looked at all aspects of the communications, including the context in which the communications were sent. The evidence was then reviewed by a QC with particular expertise in sports’ disciplinary proceedings and employment law.

“Having assessed the evidence, and in light of the finding that the communications were sent with a legitimate expectation of privacy, the FA will not be taking disciplinary action against Iain Moody and Malky Mackay in connection with the content of those messages.”

The FA added: “However, the FA has spoken to both Iain Moody and Malky Mackay about the inappropriateness of terms used in the messages. Both individuals have acknowledged that such terms are not acceptable. Mr Mackay has also voluntarily undertaken equality and diversity training.

“The FA is in the process of carrying out a complex review involving all stakeholders on how communications, and in particular those involving discriminatory language, which may be viewed as taking place in private should be treated in the future.”