The Aston Villa vaulted youth system is under review by the Football Association for the treatment of young players. The report is an exclusive by The Daily Telegraph — after being given access to the complaints filed by one player and his family against U-23 coach and former caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.
Following an inquiry, the Premier League took issue with both individuals and the club as a whole.
- MacDonald was accused of emotional bullying, public shaming of players, using alienation as punishment, along with daily insults and abusive language.
- Multiple club personnel failed to “take responsibility for dealing with the concerns (after being raised by player and parent).”
- The club showed “a lack of focus on player welfare, [and] failure by the club to implement its procedures and poor communications”
- Aston Villa did not adequately communicate with the aggrieved party — despite repeated attempts to collect information on the investigation.
In a letter to the complainant — the Premier League’s safeguarding department acknowledged, “The club has demonstrated improvement under new management with a renewed emphasis being placed on safeguarding and welfare.”
The Daily Telegraph received a statement from the club acknowledging the investigation and their full cooperation with it — while not commenting on any specific allegations. The club as recently appointed a full-time safeguarding and welfare officer.