Crystal Palace official quits over text scandal

Last updated 08:14 22/08/2014

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A senior member of Crystal Palace's coaching staff quit on Thursday (Friday NZ time) after becoming embroiled in a text message controversy that also involves former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and is the subject of an English Football Association investigation.

A dossier has been sent by Cardiff to the FA, outlining allegations that a string of inappropriate text messages were sent between Iain Moody and Mackay while they were employed by the Welsh club.

Sections of the British media reported that the messages were of a racist, sexist and anti-gay nature.

Hours after the governing body confirmed it was ''investigating the matter,'' Palace accepted the resignation of Moody, who held the position of sporting director, with immediate effect ''in light of the events.''

In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Mackay apologised for sending a ''couple of one-line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures.''

The LMA said Mackay has denied sending any sexist or anti-gay messages.

The departure of Moody plunged Palace further into turmoil, with the Premier League club currently seeking a new manager after Tony Pulis stepped down from the role last week - two days before the start of the new season.

Mackay was one of the favorites to replace Pulis, but Palace's interest has cooled because of the controversy.

''Malky finds it strange that these matters were only raised with the FA and in the media now, eight months after his employment ended (with Cardiff) and the day before he was reported as being offered the opportunity to become manager of Crystal Palace,'' the LMA said.

Mackay left Cardiff in December, midway through the club's first season in the Premier League and three months after Moody, his close friend, departed his position as the club's head of recruitment.

Both men fell out with Cardiff's Malaysian owner Vincent Tan over the club's spending in the transfer market.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported Thursday that Moody's home in south London was raided in March by investigators, who seized work computers and phones as part of their probe into wrongdoing related to one of the transfers overseen by Moody at Cardiff.

The newspaper alleged that about 70,000 text messages and 10,000 emails were seized.

Cardiff was relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season.

Pulis led Palace to safety after joining in November with the team last in the standings.

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- AP

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