Friday. 11:30pm. The boulder dropped into the river.
Alen Stajcic was set to be sacked as Matildas coach. The press conference would be held Saturday.
There were no official emails or any other communication but the waves had started.
Saturday morning. 10:09am. FFA Chairman Chris Nikou and FFA CEO David Gallop will make an announcement regarding the Matildas.
Saturday. Midday. Stajcic is officially sacked.
This weekend has been confusing, distressing, infuriating for all in the women’s football community and the wider Australian football landscape.
There are few answers and many questions but here is what we know.
Alen Stajcic is no longer the coach of the Matildas. One of his assistants has already resigned.
There are 38 days until the Matildas first match of 2019. There are 139 days until the Matildas opening World Cup group game.
The culture and well-being review was conducted via two anonymous surveys, one in conjunction with the PFA, one in conjunction with Our Watch.
The main catalyst of this review was not on field performance. The fact that 2018 never reached the dazzling highs of 2017 is only a small piece of this puzzle.
Workplace culture, even when that workplace is as unusual as a senior national football team, is something most aren’t privy to.
Despite being unusual it is not beyond review and any sort of negative culture that affects the well-being of those involved should be addressed.
The surveys weren’t the only feature of this review. Discussions were also had with players and coaching staff.
This was not a player revolt.
This is not football’s #MeToo moment.
Two hundred and eighty characters isn’t a lot. Tweets aren’t the best medium for explaining and discussing what is a complicated situation objectively, let alone personally.
FFA’s newly formed Women’s Council wasn’t involved in this decision. This should be questioned.
Many people are assigning blame to the governing body. That is telling but unsubstantiated.
Baseless speculation helps no one.
This story is far from over and we will learn more about this whole situation in the coming days and weeks. For now, we must hold on to the belief that drastic action wouldn’t be taken if it wasn’t warranted.
As for who takes over, the FFA has a recent blueprint it can follow if it chooses to do so.
Whether a short term manager is hired to deal with the World Cup and then someone else appointed for the long term, or the long term selection is made straight away, those in charge will have been giving the decision a lot of thought.