Alen Stajcic was sacked by the FFA back in January.
Alen Stajcic was sacked by the FFA back in January.

Stunning apology made to sacked Matildas boss

FOOTBALL Federation Australia (FFA) board director Heather Reid has publicly apologised for implying Alen Stajcic was sacked as Matildas coach for misconduct.

In a stunning twist in the ongoing saga, FFA and Reid on Friday issued statements regarding the controversial sacking.

Reid, in a statement, apologised for privately suggesting to media and others that "if the whole truth could be told, Stajcic would never work again in women's football".

Stajcic's contract was terminated by the governing body on January 19 in a move that rocked the Australian football community, and saw speculation regarding his potential wrongdoing fill the media.

"FFA by this statement wishes to make clear that Alen Stajcic's contract was not terminated on the basis that he had breached his contract or had engaged in any misconduct," the FFA statement read.

"Any inference that has been drawn about these being reasons for Alen's contract termination is wrong. Alen's contract was terminated by FFA exercising its contractual right of termination by making a pre-agreed payment in lieu of notice. FFA's decision to do this was reached simply because its Board formed the view, following a process undertaken by management that the Matildas would benefit from a new coach for the FIFA World Cup in France.

"FFA acknowledges that some of the speculation about the termination of Alen's contract was caused by statements made by one of its directors, Heather Reid."

Stajcic has since become coach of the Central Coast Mariners
Stajcic has since become coach of the Central Coast Mariners

Reid meanwhile issued her own statement to 'apologise unreservedly for the damage, distress and hurt' caused to Stajcic.

She acknowledged that: "my conduct in making public and private statements may have caused serious damage to Mr Stajcic's reputation, both in Australia and internationally."

The women's football pioneer who was appointed to the board in November also withdrew her statements 'entirely and unconditionally' and stated that she regrets the comments. Reid also apologised 'for pain and suffering… caused to Mr Stajcic's wife and young children.'

Stajcic's sacking just months before the Women's World Cup in France sent shockwaves around the footballing community. He was replaced by Ante Milicic who next week will take to the dugout for the Matildas' first match of the tournament against Italy.

FFA director Heather Reid
FFA director Heather Reid

Stajcic has since become the head coach of A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

Meanwhile, Reid temporarily stepped down from the board citing health issues.

FULL FFA STATEMENT:

On 19 January 2019 Football Federation Australia (FFA) made the decision to terminate the contract of the Matildas head coach, Alen Stajcic.

Since that time there has been considerable commentary and speculation about why Alen Stajcic's contract was terminated.

FFA by this statement wishes to make clear that Alen Stajcic's contract was not terminated on the basis that he had breached his contract or had engaged in any misconduct. Any inference that has been drawn about these being reasons for Alen's contract termination is wrong.

Alen's contract was terminated by FFA exercising its contractual right of termination by making a pre-agreed payment in lieu of notice. FFA's decision to do this was reached simply because its Board formed the view, following a process undertaken by management, that the Matildas would benefit from a new coach for the FIFA World Cup in France.

FFA acknowledges that some of the speculation about the termination of Alen's contract was caused by statements made by one of its directors, Heather Reid.

These statements were not made on behalf of FFA and did not reflect the decision of the Board or the reasons why it made that decision. Heather has withdrawn those comments and issued an apology to Alen for having made them.

FFA and Alen in the interests of the Matildas have also agreed to resolve their differences and move forward and neither will be making any further comment on these issues. FFA gratefully acknowledges the significant contribution that Alen has made to women's football in Australia and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

FULL REID STATEMENT:

I apologise unreservedly for the damage, distress and hurt that I have caused to Alen Stajcic as a professional football coach and long-time servant to, and advocate for, Australian and women's football. I understand that my conduct in making public and private statements may have caused serious damage to Mr Stajcic's reputation, both in Australia and internationally.

On 22 January 2019 The Sydney Morning Herald published a story about the termination of Mr Stajcic's contract by Football Federation Australia (FFA), in which I was quoted as saying that if people knew the actual facts about Mr Stajcic's behaviour 'they would be shocked.'

I also, at around this time, sent personal communications to a number of people including various members of the media, in which I suggested that, if the whole truth could be told, Mr Stajcic would never work again in women's football. I understand also that these communications ended up in the hands of other journalists who have used my words to compound the speculation and innuendo as to the reason why Mr Stajcic's employment was terminated.

I withdraw my statements entirely and unconditionally. Mr Stajcic's contract was terminated by FFA, by a decision of the FFA Board, of which I am a member. FFA elected to terminate Mr Stajcic's employment contract by it making a payment in lieu of notice. Mr Stajcic's contract was not terminated by FFA for breach of contract by Mr Stajcic, or because of any misconduct on Mr Stajcic's part. I accept that I was wrong to imply otherwise.

I regret making these statements. I apologise also for pain and suffering that I have caused to Mr Stajcic's wife and two young children.

News Corp Australia

Third crash in terrible weekend

Third crash in terrible weekend

Six in hospital after two-car crash.

Second crash in 24 hours at problem intersection

Second crash in 24 hours at problem intersection

One transported to hospital after an accident in Chinchilla

Students roll up for PQ Ball

Students roll up for PQ Ball

Chinchilla State High students celebrate.