Former Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic has spoken for the first time to give his side of the story about his shock sacking by the FFA nearly a month ago. He's holding a press conference later today, but, in his own words below, this is how the nightmare unfolded for him.
It is unfortunate that I could not make any public comment earlier than now, regarding the ongoing speculation and innuendo concerning my removal as the Head Coach of the Matildas. I have until now remained silent for important legal reasons.
Throughout this difficult time, I have tried to remain constructive and consider all of the affected parties. Most importantly, I have also acted in the best interests of my family, innocent persons who are suffering personally due to the injustice that has occurred. This has taken a huge personal toll on my family.
In order to protect my reputation in the face of unwarranted speculation from various sources, I feel that it is necessary that I make this statement in relation to the FFA’s decision to terminate my employment.
For the record, I wish to state categorically that, during my time as Matildas Head Coach – such tenure which commenced in 2014 - I have never witnessed, never participated in, and never acquiesced to the participation of others in any impropriety or misconduct relating to players or the Matildas set-up. The explanation proffered by FFA for my dismissal was;
i) termination without cause;
ii) that no actions or behaviours of misconduct could be attributed to me;
iii) the FFA CEO’s assertion that the Matilda’s had a “poor culture”.
I wish to make it abundantly clear that during my time as Matildas Head Coach, over nearly five years, I was not made aware, by FFA’s Chief Executive Officer, David Gallop, of the existence of, or the occurrence of, any serious issues of concern within the Matildas set-up. In fact, up until the day before the FFA terminated my employment I have only ever received praise from Mr Gallop both publicly and privately.
I still do not know the reason(s) why my employment was terminated, aside from Mr Gallop telling me that the Matildas had a “poor culture” and I, as Head Coach, was responsible. No other explanation has been given to me in spite of my repeated requests for the FFA to provide me with reasons why it had decided, by 19 January 2019, to take the extreme decision to terminate my employment contract.
The very first time I met with Mr Gallop about these alleged “poor culture” issues were on 18 January 2019, at 9.30am. Our discussion about the supposed “poor culture” within the Matildas lasted approximately 20 minutes. Thereafter my employment was terminated the next morning at a meeting arranged for 9.30am on the Saturday. That meeting was arranged by the FFA after the close of business on the evening of Friday, 18 January 2019.
In regards to the survey conducted by Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), I requested and was provided with a copy of the PFA Report for the first time in early December last year.
Upon reviewing the PFA Report I notified the FFA’s Head of National Teams that the report was materially and hopelessly flawed in its design and delivery. I questioned the validity, reliability and integrity of the results on multiple occasions. I expressed the same view to Mr Gallop in the meeting on January 18. I am not even certain that only individuals within the cohort, identified during the design phase of the survey, completed it. I understand that it is difficult, and perhaps not even possible to even ascertain who completed the survey.