ASTON VILLA youth coach Kevin MacDonald has left the Birmingham club "with immediate effect" after the results of an independent investigation were concluded.

The former player faced accusations of bullying in a report from The Guardian, and was subsequently placed on 'non-player facing duties' while the investigation took place.

The 58-year-old Scot has now left Aston Villa, who included an apology in a statement on the club's website.

The statement read: "Mr MacDonald had been reallocated to non-player facing duties pending completion of an independent investigation into allegations published in The Guardian newspaper in December 2018 about his past conduct.

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"That investigation, carried out by barrister Jack Mitchell, has now concluded and the results delivered to the Board. As the report forms part of an employee disciplinary process, the Club is unable to provide details in public although copies of Mr Mitchell’s investigation have been provided to The FA, Premier League and statutory authorities.

"Mr Mitchell appealed for individuals to come forward to give evidence and we are especially grateful to those former players who assisted him in his investigation.

"Aston Villa wishes to apologise to all former players who were affected by behaviour which would not be tolerated by the Club today. Our approach to safeguarding is now unrecognisable from the past and has been described as excellent in recent EFL and Ofsted audits."