Aston Villa fire head of development MacDonald for bullying

August 21 – Newly promoted Premier League club Aston Villa’s long-serving youth coach and head of football development Kevin MacDonald has been suspended following an investigation into allegations of bullying.

MacDonald, 58, a Double winner with Liverpool as a player in 1986, had twice been caretaker manager at Villa, including last season.

A Villa statement said: “An investigation, carried out by barrister Jack Mitchell, has now concluded and the results delivered to the board.”

“Aston Villa wishes to apologise to all former players who were affected by behaviour which would not be tolerated by the club today.”

An investigation into MacDonald was launched after a former graduate of the club, Gareth Farrelly, now a solicitor, who came forward to tell the Guardian newspaper about claims of relentless bullying by MacDonald in the mid-1990s.

“It took me to a place at 20 that nobody should have to go to. And I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.” Farrelly, a former Republic of Ireland international, was quoted as saying.

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