The Houston Dash will not renew the contract of head coach and general manager James Clarkson as fallout begins from the NWSL and NWSLPA report into misconduct in the league.
Also in the aftermath of the report’s release Wednesday afternoon, the Kansas City Current revealed that Huw Williams is no longer employed by the team.
The joint investigation by the league and its players association revealed “widespread misconduct” against players, which occurred “at the vast majority of NWSL clubs” and throughout the league’s 10-year history.
Clarkson, who was suspended in April as a result of the investigation, created a culture of “anxiety and fear” within the Dash locker room, the investigative team found. In one instance, Clarkson berated the team because he thought several players went out drinking the night before an exhibition game.
His contract was set to expire at the end of the year, and the Dash will not bring him back as coach.
“Our vision of building and maintaining a culture of excellence on and off the pitch starts with cultivating a respectful and healthy working environment,” the club said in a statement. “Our priority is to ensure that our personnel and policies reflect that directive.”
In the statement, the Dash apologize to players for the misconduct by Clarkson and former coach Vera Pauw. Pauw, who was dismissed by the Dash in 2018, attempted to “exert excessive control” over players’ eating habits, per the report.
pic.twitter.com/6TXAqXwvJn— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) December 14, 2022
The Current parted ways with Williams in November, though the club has not yet released a statement.
Players expressed concerns to team leadership about Williams’ “unprofessional and demeaning communication style” during the 2021 season.
Current owners Angie and Chris Long told Williams about the meeting with players, and they also “identified to him specific players who organized the meeting, although he did not know all the players who participated,” the report reads.
He was removed as coach at the end of the 2021 season but moved to a front office role.
“One takeaway from this whole process is that reshuffling people who commit misconduct is not the way forward to a safe future,” NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke told reporters Wednesday afternoon.