FA faces questions over their safeguarding standards after they failed to properly investigate Aston Villa coach who is accused of sending ‘inappropriate messages’ to several young female players, including asking for NAKED photographs
- Jack Peel was suspended by Aston Villa in September 2021 after a complaint
- He is accused of sending inappropriate messages to players from several teams
- The FA never formally interviewed Peel after learning of the accusations
The Football Association are facing questions over the safeguarding of young female players following shocking allegations made against a former Aston Villa coach, revealed by Sportsmail today.
Jack Peel is accused of sending inappropriate messages to academy players at several Women’s Super League clubs, including a request for naked photographs, during his time as head coach of the women’s academy at the Premier League club.
Peel was suspended by Villa in September 2021 after they received a complaint about his alleged behavior from a member of the first-team squad and conducted an internal investigation. The 27-year-old 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’.
Villa also reported the case to the FA, but the governing body have been accused of not investigating the matter properly. In addition to unearthing the attachments against Peel Sportsmail can reveal:
- Peel was not formally interviewed by the FA and continued to be associated with a grassroots club in Tamworth, Dosthill Colts, for nine months after leaving Villa.
Coach Jack Peel was suspended by Villa in September 2021 after they received a complaint
- Several of the teenage girls he allegedly texted and their parents were never contacted by the FA.
- The PFA were not aware of the case until being contacted by Sportsmail and are urgently seeking a meeting with the FA to ascertain what support was offered to the players, if any.
‘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.’
Peel was accused of sending inappropriate messages to players aged between 16 and 18 at Villa and is alleged to have asked players for naked pictures, commented on their physical appearance and asked them to meet up with him outside of football.
An Aston Villa spokesperson told Sportsmail: ‘When allegations were made about Jack Peel’s behavior 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.’
The 27-year-old resigned the day he was due to attend a formal disciplinary hearing at Villa
Peel joined Villa in the summer of 2020 and previously worked at Birmingham, but also knew players from West Brom and Wolves through his work at the private coaching clinic, the Elite Football Academy. The now defunct company offered specialist one to one training to male and female players and boasted high profile clients including Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey and West Brom defender Taylor Gardner-Hickman.
Several players who allegedly received messages from Peel have told Sportsmail that they would begin with questions about football, but became increasingly flirtatious 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 behavior had on their lives, with one saying she was so sickened by the messages that they made her dislike football.
Another told Sportsmail 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.
Peel was accused of sending inappropriate messages to players aged between 16 and 18
Several 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.
The PFA were also unaware of the case until last month.
A PFA Spokesperson said: ‘These are obviously extremely worrying attachments and we are seeking more detail on how these have been handled.’
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.’