Dave Reddin has broken his silence over being accused of presiding over a “culture of fear and bullying” at the Football Association, proclaiming: “My conscience is clear.”
More than nine months after the Daily Telegraph revealed one of the architects of England’s march to last year’s World Cup semi-finals had allegedly left colleagues “in tears, suffering with stress-related illnesses and being forced to leave the organisation”, the FA’s head of team strategy and performance finally addressed the claims against him.
Reddin, who will leave the FA at the end of the year, linked an anonymous written complaint about him – which was corroborated to this newspaper by some of those to have worked with him – to his controversial culling of the governing body’s talent-identification department.
That cull included laying off two of his alleged victims within weeks of the complaint being received by the FA, which did not interview the duo or four of seven others named in it as having “expressed concerns” about him before clearing him of bullying.
“I don’t want to respond directly to individuals, especially anonymous individuals in the press,” Reddin told the Training Ground Guru Podcast. “But, as an organisation, I think we demonstrate extraordinary levels of care for that process – better than anywhere else I’ve ever worked – to try to look after people on that.
“I’m afraid change is hard and not everyone will agree with it. But change, or driving change, is an important part of the role we have here. And, so the responsibility have it to consult widely and try to make the best decisions I possibly can. And, in doing so, try to convey that information as sensitively as I can.
“I’m sure, like everybody, on reflection, at times, you like to do things better. But I think we did awful lot of things right.”
He added: “I accept the fact that the sport that we’re in attracts a lot of publicity and, therefore, as an organisation and as an individual, there’ll be times when you’re going to have to take that sort of anonymous feedback or commentary on it.
“But my conscience is clear in terms of the way that we’ve done things.
“Of course, where there are individuals who have gone through personal hardship as a result of the changes, I’m sorry for that – I’m clearly sympathetic to that.
“But I wouldn’t change the decisions that we’ve made.”
Reddin, who was also a key figure in the country’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning triumph and Great Britain’s success at the 2012 Olympics in London, wants to move into club football when he leaves the FA