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Kevin MacDonald leaves Aston Villa after bullying investigation

Aston Villa’s head of football development Kevin MacDonald has left the club following an investigation into allegations of bullying.

He had been reassigned to non-player-facing duties during the investigation.

Ex-midfielder Garreth Farrelly was “relentlessly negative” to him as a youth coach in the 1990s.

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

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

He was also Villa’s assistant manager under Tim Sherwood and most recently the under-23s manager. He had a brief spell as manager at Swindon Town in 2013.

Former Aston Villa academy graduate and Republic of Ireland international Farrelly, now a qualified solicitor, told the Guardian last year MacDonald was “incredibly aggressive, with constant verbal and physical bullying”.

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

“As the report forms part of an employee disciplinary process, the club is unable to provide details in public although copies of Mr Mitchell’s investigation have been provided to the FA, Premier League and statutory authorities.

“Mr Mitchell appealed for individuals to come forward to give evidence and we are especially grateful to those former players who assisted him in his investigation.

“Our approach to safeguarding is now unrecognisable from the past.”

About Dominion Akintunde

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