Football Coaches Australia (FCA) remains fully committed to supporting its member, Alen Stajcic, as he seeks to finalise a settlement with Football Federation Australia (FFA) following his termination as coach of the Australian Women’s National Team, ‘The Matildas’.

FCA would again like to highlight its profound disappointment at the process undertaken by FFA to terminate Alen. Almost 3 weeks on, Alen remains in the dark for the reasons behind the decision. Simply put, this is not good enough.

Alen has maintained a dignified silence since being terminated, despite a milieu of leaks and media reports, which all appear designed to undermine Alen’s outstanding reputation. He has not spoken to the media and has stayed away from men’s and women’s football matches. Despite possessing a deep disappointment at losing his job, and having his character repeatedly questioned, Alen has shown nothing but respect for his former players and the FFA.

The (lack of) process in relation to this decision has once again highlighted the need for Australian football to adopt grievance procedures for coaches in line with the practices provided in all sophisticated football associations.

One of the core objectives of FCA since its inception has been the adoption of a standard national grievance resolution process and standard contract for A-League, W-League, Y-League, NPL and Member Federation coaches and technical directors.

Currently, Australian coaches employed by Australian clubs can only resolve employment-related disputes at last instance in the court system. This is a non-specialised, expensive, and inefficient for the resolution of sporting issues which require speed, specialist expertise, and protection through a sporting sanction system to enforce judgments. As is stands, non-Australian coaches employed by Australian clubs have those protections in that they the option to resolve employment-related disputes before a FIFA employment body. This is unacceptable.

It is time for Australia to adopt a formal dispute resolution process for all coaches within its football regulatory framework. Professional players and clubs may currently resolve their employment-related disputes at last instance before the FFA National Dispute Resolution Chamber or state-level football tribunals. There is no logical reason for professional coaches to be excluded from the Australian football family.

FCA has today written to all Member Federations, the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, and the Australian Association of Football Clubs to further the discussion regarding the implementation of standard grievance procedures and standard contracts for professional coaches as soon as possible.

Alen’s termination has demonstrated the ongoing lack of respect, empathy and understanding that Australian football administrators have provided to coaches. Now is the time for change.

FCA Chief Executive Glenn Warry:

“This manner in which this incident has played out demonstrates precisely why we have formed FCA. It is yet another example of the profound disrespect that has been repeatedly shown towards coaches.”

“We need to ask ourselves why coaches are subject to this kind of treatment, over and over. Sadly it is nothing new in Australia, but this is a most galling instance. FCA will not tolerate any more efforts to sully the reputation of our coaches.”

“The rights of coaches are protected by FIFA and in the vast majority of football associations as a matter of moral conscience and good governance. Australian football has made great strides protecting players and now it is time to protect our coaches.”

FCA President Phil Moss:

“As a football community, this incident proves we have a mountain of work to do before coaches are treated with the level of respect that befits our status in the sport.”

“We’ve been in operation for just over a year, but FCA has already been involved in advocating on behalf of its female and male members in more than 20 cases – with National Teams, A-League clubs, W-League clubs and National Premier League clubs – where Australian coaches have been treated unfairly.”

“The truth is that the problem may be even worse than we first feared. As an association, we’re doing all we can to support coaches. It’s now time for our fellow stakeholders to step up their game. Just as we protect our players, we must protect our coaches.”

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further media information or to arrange an interview, please contact Glenn Warry on generalfca@gmail.com or +61 417 346 312