Football: Wigan appoint controversial Mackay as manager

LONDON (REUTERS) - Wigan Athletic have appointed controversial former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay as their new manager, the Championship club said on Wednesday.

Mackay, under investigation by the Football Association for offensive messages he allegedly sent while in charge at the Welsh club, takes over from Uwe Rosler, who was sacked by second-tier Wigan on Friday after a poor start to the season.

The 42-year-old Mackay has not managed since leaving Cardiff under a cloud last year following a falling-out with club owner Vincent Tan.

He came close to taking over at Premier League side Crystal Palace in August but was ruled out of the running after English media published details of the texts, causing Mackay to apologise for any offence caused and assert he was not a "racist, sexist, homophobe or anti-Semite".

"He is the man to lead us back into the Premier League, I am convinced of that having met him and discussed the demands of the job ahead of him," Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said in a statement on the club's website (www.wiganlatics.co.uk).

"I know that this appointment will draw criticism in some quarters but we go into it with our eyes open and we have nothing to hide on this subject.

"Malky made a mistake, he knows that, we know that and we have discussed this issue at length face to face. He apologised publicly for what happened at the time and has paid for what he did in terms of the bad publicity he has received since and will no doubt continue to suffer in the future."

Wigan's Member of Parliament Lisa Nandy had written to Whelan expressing her concerns about appointing Mackay.

"I believe that it is now time to move on. Contrary to the way he has been portrayed in recent months, the Malky Mackay I met this week, and who has been vouched for by the many different people from whom we have sought advice before making this appointment, is an honourable man," Whelan added.

Wigan are third from bottom of the league with 16 points from 17 games.