Mackay SFA performance director

Malky Mackay will be presented as the Scottish Football Association’s performance director on Thursday afternoon.

The SFA has announced a 1pm press conference to announce the successor to Brian McClair.

The successful applicant has not been confirmed but it is understood former Cardiff manager Mackay is the selected candidate.

McClair quit in the summer in frustration over obstacles to change, a little over a year after he was handed the role, which involves overall responsibility for producing elite young Scottish players.

Mackay’s appointment comes on the day reports emerged that Cardiff were pressing for a High Court trial after launching damages claims against their former manager relating to transfer deals.

The SFA’s choice has sparked controversy given an 11-month investigation from its English counterparts into a series of text messages exchanged between Mackay and his head of player recruitment at Cardiff, Ian Moody.

The Football Association decided not to bring charges ”in respect of private communications sent with a legitimate expectation of privacy” but that decision was condemned by a number of organisations, including anti-discriminatory group Kick it Out, the Jewish Leadership Council and Women in Football.

Mackay, who was hired and fired by Wigan during the course of the probe, denied being racist, sexist or homophobic and the FA stressed during its announcement in July 2015 that the former Celtic defender had voluntarily undertaken equality and diversity training.

SNP MSP Clare Haughey claimed Mackay’s appointment would ”risk sending a message that bigotry is no barrier to a top job in Scottish football” but Show Racism the Red Card Scotland has wished him well and expressed hope that education has changed his attitudes.

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