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.