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Aston Villa coach suspended by club ‘over inappropriate message sent to teen players’

Aston Villa coach Jack Peel has been suspended by the club ‘over inappropriate message sent to teen players’, reports confirm.

The 27 year old, who is a coach for the Villa women’s team, is said to have messaged Women’s Super League players aged between 16 and 19 on WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Peel wasn’t formally interviewed by the FA and continued to be associated with a grassroots club in Tamworth, Dosthill Colts, for nine months after leaving Villa.

There were several teenage girls he allegedly texted and their parents were never contacted by the FA.

The PFA weren’t aware of he case until told by Sportsmail, now an urgent meeting with the FA is hoped to ascertain what support was offered to the players, if any.

He also knew players from West Brom and Wolves via his work at the private coaching clinic, the Elite Football Academy.

The Football Association was asked by the club to investigate him, facing questions over their safeguarding standards after they failed to properly investigate the coach.

Peel was the manager for the club’s U21 women’s team before being immediately suspended after players alerted Villa chiefs.

He linked up with Aston Villa in 2020 from rivals Birmingham City and had passed all the FA safeguarding checks to coach girls football.

Villa also alerted the Safeguarding Chiefs of Birmingham City Council about their former coach’s behaviour.

Aston Villa said: “When allegations were made about Jack Peel’s behaviour he was immediately interviewed and suspended by the Club and we also informed the FA and other relevant authorities in the same timely manner.

“Peel’s suspension, which is standard procedure in matters of this nature, was pending a formal Disciplinary Hearing. Prior to the hearing, he resigned.

“Aston Villa fully co-operated with the FA, who are responsible for Governing Body safeguarding investigations. We therefore cannot comment on their ultimate sanctions.

“The Club takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and meets all the statutory requirements set by The FA and Premier League in this sector.”

An FA Spokesperson said: “The FA has robust safeguarding measures in place, and all referrals into The FA are handled in line with our policies and procedures. We do not comment on individual cases.”

A PFA Spokesperson said: ‘These are obviously extremely worrying allegations and we are seeking more detail on how these have been handled.’

When approached by The Sun, Jack confirmed he is the former coach at the centre of the “inappropriate” messages allegations but has said: “I strongly deny everything.”

He added: “I need some breathing space.”

He resigned on the day he was due to attend a formal disciplinary hearing at Villa, but strongly denies the allegations, describing them as ‘disgusting’ and ‘untrue’.

‘I don’t ever feel it was investigated properly,’ a parent told Sportsmail. ‘It makes me really angry that they haven’t investigated. Nobody has any answers.

‘Everybody is so frightened to speak out because they’re worried about their football career. Every young girl wants a pro contract and if a coach is messaging you, these young girls are going to think that he’s going to be able to take them somewhere.’

A number of players who allegedly received messages from Peel spoke to Sportsmail, saying that they would start with questions about football, but became increasingly flirty before asking if they would meet him outside of training. Some players were allegedly asked to send naked pictures and if they failed to respond, Peel would ask why they were ignoring him.

Players have told Sportsmail of the distressing impact Peel’s alleged behaviour had on their lives, with one saying she was left so sickened by the messages that they made her dislike football.

Another explained how she felt uncomfortable having to train and do squats in front of Peel after he had messaged her. She also said the experience has made her feel uneasy around other male coaches.

Sportsmail add that parents of the alleged victims have raised concerns about the FA’s handling of the case and are angry they were not contacted directly. The allegations against Peel have not yet been subjected to any impartial scrutiny.

SEE MORE: Mason Greenwood has charges of attempted rape and assault DROPPED a year after being arrested

This is how Twitter users reacted with a Aston Villa coach suspended by the club ‘over inappropriate message sent to teen players’…

@Steveplant_: This makes me so angry. The game needs to be a place of fun, enjoyment, development and most importantly a safe environment for our children.

@shukla_akshata: Will abuse in sports ever end?

Thank you for this.
This is awful, simply awful.
Something needs to be seriously done to make sure this, or something like this can’t happen again.

@Salahrnold: Something is deeply wrong with football

@josieincendia: this is actually disgusting

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