Inappropriate conduct during his time working at Bristol Academy led to the sacking of England manager Mark Sampson on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Welshman worked first with 10- to 16-year-olds at Bristol Academy’s centre of excellence and later as the senior first-team coach.
It is understood that the safeguarding allegations were made by more than one player, with FA chairman Greg Clarke saying that they range from the “trivial to the very serious”.
According to The Guardian, there are first-hand reports that some of Bristol Academy’s s trips “were more like a coming together of stag- and hen-dos”.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the decision to terminate Sampson’s contract was obvious after he became aware of the “full detail” of inappropriate relationships with female players at Bristol Academy.
He was at pains to point out that no law was broken “but we felt that, during his time at Bristol, Mark had overstepped the professional boundaries between player and coach”.
“There was a full investigation, a proper investigation, an assessment process and when the report concluded in March 2015 he was deemed not to be a safeguarding risk,” Glenn said, speaking about when the FA’s safeguarding and investigations team conducted inquiries when the allegations against Sampson were first made in March 2014.
“However, the full report of that investigation was only made known to me last week.”
Sampson played amateur football for Cardiff Corinthians and was manager of Bristol Academy (now Bristol City Women FC) between 2009 and 2013.
He took them to a second placed finish in the Woman’s Super League, was twice an FA Cup finalist, and qualified for the Champions League in 2011 and 2014.
Due to his success at Bristol, he was appointed England manager in December 2013 where he went on to become the most successful England manager of recent times. His last game in charge on Tuesday saw his side defeat Russia 6-0 in their first World Cup qualifying match.
A spokesman for Bristol Academy said: “In 2014 the club was made aware of the FA’s investigation into allegations surrounding Mark Sampson.
“Bristol Academy Women co-operated fully with that investigation, which found that Mark Sampson did not pose a safeguarding risk working in the game. The club has had no further contact from the FA on this subject in the intervening years.”
Photos courtesy of Bristol Academy
Read more: Bristol beat Barcelona in Champions League