Aston Villa: Kevin MacDonald 'reassigned' from under-23 coach role amid bullying claim

Aston Villa under-23s coach Kevin MacDonald
Kevin MacDonald was placed in caretaker charge of Aston Villa's first team earlier this season

Aston Villa under-23s manager Kevin MacDonald has been "reassigned" from his role following allegations of bullying by a former player.

Villa confirmed MacDonald, 58, will not be in charge of the team pending an independent investigation.

Ex-midfielder Gareth Farrelly alleged MacDonald was "relentlessly negative" to him as a youth coach in the 1990s.

MacDonald was placed in caretaker charge of the first team earlier this season after Steve Bruce was sacked.

Former Aston Villa academy graduate and Republic of Ireland international Farrelly, now a qualified solicitor, claimed MacDonald was "incredibly aggressive, with constant verbal and physical bullying".

"It took me to a place at 20 that nobody should have to go to and I wouldn't wish it on anybody," Farrelly told The Guardian.

Villa have referred the allegations to the local and football authorities.

An internal investigation will commence immediately and MacDonald has been temporarily reassigned to non-player-facing duties.

He has also been instructed not to comment on the allegations of bullying, pending the outcome of the investigation.

MacDonald, a former double winner with Liverpool as a player in 1986, has twice been caretaker manager at Villa and was previously assistant to Tim Sherwood in 2015.

He also had a brief spell as manager at Swindon Town in 2013.

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