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UPDATE: Alen Stajcic speaks, says reputation is ruined

Macquarie Sports Radio

UPDATE @ 6.00pm | Chris Nikou, the Chairman of the Football Federation Australia (FFA) said today “The FFA’s Board notes Mr Stajcic’s comments this morning. We disagree with many of his assertions and were surprised by a number of his comments. Indeed Mr Stajcic, by his own admission and in the presence of an FFA lawyer and the FFA CEO David Gallop, said that the team environment was ‘dysfunctional’ and was ‘always going to be this way’. In those circumstances we decided to act in time to put the team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign back on track. It’s the Board’s duty to make these decisions.

“We have been 100% focused on the immediate and long-term well-being of our team and staff. Our decision to act was driven out of care and concern for our players and people. It was and remains our sole motivation. Any suggestions to the contrary are incorrect.

“Nothing Mr Stajcic said today changes the facts, that built up over time, that informed the FFA’s decision to legally terminate his employment as Coach of the Matildas. The FFA reached a unanimous view that Mr Stajcic was no longer the right person to enable the Matildas to perform at their best – on and off the pitch. Coaching contracts generally contain provisions to deal with situations where the Board determines there needs to be a change of coach. They do so by providing for a pre-agreed payment to be made in lieu of notice which is what occurred here.

David Gallop, FFA Chief Executive Officer said “We are not going to get into a point by point debate that further distracts the team. Mr Stajcic knows that the team environment, contrary to today’s comments, was not satisfactory. A change was needed. We are also mindful that the people who participated in the review processes, including the surveys and other information gathered, did so on a confidential basis. We will not breach those commitments to players and staff.

“We appreciate and acknowledge Mr Stajcics’ best wishes for the team and the players and it was never our intent to cause him or his family distress. It was a decision based on the best outcome for the players and staff.

“Our focus is on the recruitment of the new coach of the Matildas. We will be announcing the new coach in the coming weeks.”

EARLIER @ 4.30pm | Former FFA executive and renowned football author Bonita Mersiades joined Mark Allen & David Schwarz. She’s been documenting her thoughts through articles across the last 3 weeks since Stajcic sacking after a survey conducted by Our Watch brought about issues of “culture.” Bonita told Macquarie Sports Radio “They (FFA board) promised us transparency and they promised us accountability and here’s 1 of the first tests they’ve had to face those things & they’ve failed it miserably.”

Hear Bonita’s full interview with Mark Allen and David Schwarz below

UPDATE @ 3.30pm | Fox Sports Football #1 commentator Simon Hill has responded to Alen Stajcic’s press conference on Macquarie Sports Radio with Mark Allen & David Schwarz saying “What was clear to come out of today’s press conference, no body knows what’s going on and still we don’t know! Certainly Alen should know, he’s the guy who’s lost his job over this and he doesn’t know why!”

Listen to the full interview with Simon Hill on Macquarie Sports Radio with Mark Allen & David Schwarz here.

EARLIER @ 12.00pm | A tearful Alen Stajcic has broken his silence at a press conference in Sydney.

The former Matildas coach was ousted as national team boss on January 19 after a review into performance culture ahead of the World Cup.

The announcement set shockwaves through the footballing world, with a number of high-profile Matildas voicing their support for Stajcic.

“It has taken a huge personal toll on my family,” Stajcic said at a packed press conference on Monday.

“At no time has the FFA allowed me the courtesy to respond to any of the allegations. I remain in the dark as to why the FFA terminated my employment.

“My career is in tatters and my reputation is ruined.

“The emotional toll this has taken on my family can’t be described in words.”

THIS MORNING | Mark Riddell told Breakfast Stajcic’s first public apperance since losing his job loomed as an important moment in the long-running saga.

“It’s gone on far too long, we’ve waited a long time to find out what’s going on,” he said earlier this morning.

“This will be one of the biggest press conferences for a long, long time.

“At the end of the day, he’s still at a loss to work out why he’s been sacked.”

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