AFC WimbledonSport

Former AFC Wimbledon managing director Danny Macklin charged by FA with misconduct

The FA has charged former AFC Wimbledon managing director Danny Macklin with misconduct.

Macklin left his position with the South Londoners in September after a report from The Times, which used a recording device planted in his office without his knowledge by a military veteran working as a security officer at Plough Lane, allegedly caught him using abusive language towards a female member of staff.

Macklin is alleged to have said in a rant: “I f*****g want to put her through a f*****g window… I’ve never wanted to kill someone, but I’d like to kill her.”

An FA Spokesperson said: “Danny Macklin has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 for misconduct while he was employed as the managing director of AFC Wimbledon.

“It’s alleged that Danny Macklin breached FA rule E3.1 by using abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening language in reference to a female member of AFC Wimbledon’s staff.

“It’s further alleged that this constitutes an ‘aggravated breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as the language included a reference – whether express or implied – gender. Danny Macklin has until Wednesday 6 December 2023 to provide a response.”

AFC Wimbledon said the club acted to “promptly resolve” the incident, with Macklin leaving his role at the League Two club on 8 September.

Danny Macklin released a statement on X, which read: “I fully accept the charge made by The FA today and have confirmed that to them but will be taking up the option of a personal hearing to enable me to provide the context that led me to make the still regretful comment. 

“Additionally, this will allow me to showcase the exceptional depth of EDI work I have proudly done throughout my career and the proactive approach taken recently to further push inclusivity and diversity within sport and society. 

“I cannot change the past, but I can help drive a more positive, inclusive sport for everyone to enjoy. I have been fully co-operative and transparent throughout the process and have shown genuine and true remorse and regret. 

“I urge everyone to be allowed to move on, with any penalties I am served, so I can continue, as I have throughout my career, to champion my true values of driving equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society in general. 

“The words were not acceptable, and I fully regret them, they were 20 seconds of an otherwise totally flawless 20-plus-year career and in no way reflected me as a person then, now or in the future. I have embraced inclusive working cultures and always promoted that ethos in all ways possible. 

“My stadium office was bugged with a placed recording device(s) which I did not give approval for which was also shared illegally to others, however, and without hesitation, I would like to apologise again to the person, as I have already done privately, that I made the comment about and anyone else who may have been offended having heard the recording. 

“The words I used were said in my private stadium office under exceptional pressure at being informed just moments before, from a very trusted source, of a hugely damaging personal rumour which was very much untrue, and I had at the front of my mind awareness of similar and false rumours made by other people to other sporting clubs that resulted in severe harm for all parties concerned. 

“I said the words in a hugely uncharacteristic, emotionally charged, heat of the moment. I request interested media to not name, as many did before, the former colleague as no party asked to be named in said articles. 

“Whilst I regret deeply the comments the resulting impact on me leaving my otherwise successful time as Managing Director at AFC Wimbledon has had a devastating impact on my mental health and because of the (understandable) investigation by The FA I have incurred sizeable legal bills – however that is the penalties, and hopefully final, that I have paid for my regretful words.

“Actions I will take for my next role: In addition to presenting, where relevant the above I am keen and determined to take my learnings, career, and personal attributes into any future role(s). I would make a public sizeable donation to a relevant local or national-based female charity to the sector/environment /region. I am confident that I can show any future employer and its stakeholders/fans/students /Trustees /Board Members/followers/members my true remorse, regret and in fact, I am the opposite of sexist and fully embrace and live by Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and will go above and beyond the illustrate that and make a core strategic and operational objective within my next role. 

“I am 100% not sexist or misogynistic and have never previously ever used those words before and certainly never would again regardless of the context or circumstances. I will continue to champion E,D&J throughout my career and create strategies and operational plans that help to achieve those ambitions. 

“I will make no further comment regarding this and encourage any future potential employer to see the proactive approach I have taken and to allow me to showcase my true and previously proven and very proactive equality, diversity, and inclusive actions I am taking and will continue to take in every action I take. Above all else I wish the person I made the private comments about the very best of wishes for their future.”

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