Cardiff City suspend academy manager McCarthy on fresh bullying probe

Cardiff City academy manager James McCarthy has been suspended amid the club’s fresh investigation into ‘non-recent’ bullying claims, Sportsmail can reveal.

The club released a statement over the weekend saying that two members of staff had been suspended.

And we understand that McCarthy, academy chief since 2014, is one of those who has been stood down.

It was on McCarthy’s watch that bullying allegations first emerged against Under 18s boss Craig Bellamy — and other coaches — in January 2019.

That led to a 10-month internal investigation which found players had been subject to an ‘unacceptable coaching environment’.

Bellamy, who denied the allegations, stood down during the probe but McCarthy remained as head of the academy.

One of the parents whose son provided evidence during that investigation told us at the time: ‘The whole thing feels like a cover-up. But I always suspected that would happen, I said it from the off.

‘My feeling is that the club have made it look as if they’re doing the right thing, but really they haven’t gone anywhere near far enough

‘They have admitted the coaching environment was unacceptable, but have they looked at the role of the academy manager, James McCarthy, in all of this? This all occurred on his watch.’

Cardiff’s head of safeguarding Rob Cronick — a former police chief — was tasked with gathering evidence by chairman Mehmet Dalman and chief executive Ken Choo. He had promised families the investigation would be ‘professional, effective and with integrity’.

However, the club has now seen fit to take another ‘comprehensive’ look at the treatment of players in their academy.

A statement read: ‘Cardiff City can confirm it has launched a comprehensive investigation into non-recent allegations of bullying and poor practice relating to the club’s academy.

‘The club’s head of safeguarding is conducting the investigation, in close liaison with the FA and the EFL and in line with the Affiliated Football Bodies process and statutory partner regulations.

‘It is being overseen by the club’s board of directors. As a result, two members of the club’s academy staff have been suspended while this internal process continues.’

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