Football CHILD ABUSE scandal ‘not a numbers game’ as 21 forces investigate historical sex claims

DEC 6th

Football child abuse scandal ‘not a numbers game’ as 21 forces

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DEC 3rd

Football sex abuse claims: SunSport questions 19 Premier League The Sun

FOOTBALL is facing damaging allegations of sexual abuse that cast a long shadow over the game.

Chelsea confirmed they paid £50,000 in 2015 to former player Gary Johnson after he reported the horrific incidents he suffered at the hands of ex-youth coach Eddie Heath.

Gary Johnson was paid off by Chelsea           Johnson claims to know at least three other boys who were abused by Heath

{L} Gary Johnson was paid £50,000 by Chelsea to not come forward with a sexual abuse allegation  {R} Johnson claims to know at least three other boys who were abused by Heath

And this has now led to questions over how widespread the issue was.

SunSport believed the subject had to be confronted and so we went to the other 19 Premier League clubs with a simple question: Have you made any payments of compensation, or entered into confidentiality agreements, with any individuals with regard to allegations of sexual abuse made against any employees or junior coach/scouting staff? 

All the Prem clubs were made aware that we planned to publish their replies — and also name those teams who were unwilling to provide us with an answer.

Of the top-flight clubs, 17 were insistent they had no knowledge of any payments being made.

Two clubs, Burnley and Stoke, were less forthcoming:

ARSENAL: “No we haven’t.”

BOURNEMOUTH: “AFC Bournemouth have made no payments of compensation and have not entered into confidentiality agreements with any individuals with regards to allegations of sexual abuse made against employees, junior coaches or scouting staff.”

BURNLEY: “The Premier League have issued a statement and we have nothing further to add.”

CRYSTAL PALACE: “There have been no payments from Crystal Palace as far as the current management team are aware.”

EVERTON: The club’s position is there have been no payments made.

HULL: “As far as we are aware, no payments of compensation have been made and we have not entered into any confidentially agreements with any individuals with regards to allegations of sexual abuse made against any of our employees or junior coach/scouting staff.”

LEICESTER: “No, but with the caveat that we cannot speak for ancient history.”

LIVERPOOL: The club’s position is that there have been no payments made.

MANCHESTER CITY: Club stance is that there are no known payments or confidentiality agreements. The club announced an investigation last week.

MANCHESTER UNITED: “No.”

MIDDLESBROUGH: “The club have no knowledge of any such payments being made, or of any confidentiality agreements relating to such matters.”

SOUTHAMPTON: “Our response would be No. Southampton FC would like to confirm that we have contacted Hampshire Police following information supplied to us in relation to historical child abuse within football. The club has informed Hampshire Police that we will offer our full support to any investigation they undertake, for as long as it takes, and with our full focus. The club works closely and tirelessly with the Premier League to promote the safeguarding of children and young people who are under our care, or using our facilities, and their well-being is paramount to all staff.”

STOKE: Failed to respond to our question.

SUNDERLAND: “No.”

SWANSEA: “No.”

TOTTENHAM: “No we have not made any payments or entered into confidentiality agreements.”

WATFORD: “No.”

WEST BROM: “No, but with the caveat that we cannot speak for ancient history.”

WEST HAM: “Categorically, no.”

SOURCE



DEC 2nd

Football sex abuse scandal hit Scotland too and victims  Daily RecordUntitled.pngREAD IN FULL


DEC 1st

Football child sex abuse has seen three times as many police referrals as Jimmy Savile case

NOV 30th

WE’LL BRING PAEDOS TO JUSTICE SFA child protection manager insists there will be no Scottish football sex abuse cover-up if victims come forward

Donna Martin speaks out after support group chief claims kids were abused at three Scottish clubs. 

THE SFA has insisted there will be no cover-up of child abuse in Scottish football if victims come forward.

A support group claims kids were abused at three Scottish football clubs

And Donna Martin, the SFA’s Child Wellbeing and Protection manager, has said the governing body will help bring perverts who have shamed our game to justice.

She added: “The difficulty that victims face in coming forward and the courage of the players speaking out and sharing their experience must be recognised. It is our responsibility to ensure they are heard and that we respond to whatever information is shared with us.” 

Donna spoke in the week that Andi Lavery –  head of White Flowers Alba – told The Scottish Sun he called in the SFA after uncovering historic allegations against three Scottish teams.

He revealed he’s counselling five victims – and that the grooming of youngsters has been rife in the sport for decades.

Mr Lavery said: “Victims were groomed then abused afterwards. We can still get justice for victims but we need as many of them to come forward as possible.”

Donna revealed any claims of historic abuse will be passed on to the cops.

She said: “Any concerns raised of a criminal nature will always be referred to Police Scotland and any action required to be taken within Scottish football will also be carried out.”

Donna gave an exclusive interview to the SFA’s website last Friday as historic allegations emerged against the day after Crewe Alexandra coach Barry Bennell.

Bennell was charged with eight sex offences against boys under 14 yesterday. 

Donna believes tougher regulations north of the border will reduce the possibility of abuse in football in the future.

She said: “Since appropriate reporting systems and procedures have been in place, we now have a more robust system that includes appropriate referrals to police and social work authorities.”

Donna, who plays a central role in keeping children safe in Scottish football, explained how the SFA goes about achieving this. 

She said: “Our primary objective is to prevent unsuitable people coming into football to harm children and young people. To do this we have extended the safeguarding steps that take place when either a member of staff or volunteer is being recruited. Our reporting systems also help flag concerns over an adult’s behaviour around children and we can take steps to address the concern.” And she added: “Secondly, we provide training to all adults who work with young people in football.” 

She explained: “The training is to ensure that our clubs and affiliated bodies have the knowledge, understanding and awareness to manage cases that may arise.”

The SFA already works with Children 1st and UNICEF and last week agreed a partnership with the NSPCC to put on a 24-hour hotline for victims of abuse.

Donna said: “We would urge anyone with any concerns to get in touch directly, or ring our NSPCC hotline on 0800 023 2642 or email childrenswellbeing@scottishfa.co.uk.” And she added: “We fully appreciate and recognise how difficult it is for people who suffer abuse to speak out. However by having the courage to do this, it allows us to challenge the behaviours and take action to prevent other children being harmed.”

Donna Martin made the comments in an exclusive interview with the SFA’s website.


NOV 29th

Three Scottish football clubs in paedo shock as charity boss warnsKIDS were abused at three Scots football clubs, according to the founder of a victims’ charity.

Andi Lavery called in the SFA after uncovering the historic allegations against the teams.

And he claims he’s counselling five victims – and that the grooming of youngsters has been rife in the sport for decades.

He told how he has helped those he alleges were targeted by youth coaches from three senior teams — who we’re deciding not to name.

His revelations come as cops announced an abuse investigation into separate claims linked to the national game. Mr Lavery, head of White Flowers Alba, said: 

“I have cases of abuse at three senior Scottish clubs since the 1960s. Victims were groomed by being taken to watch football then abused afterwards.  I could put five of them in a courtroom but, at the moment, none of them want to do it. It was never just one guy who acted alone.”

Mr Lavery went on: “Most but not all of these people will now be dead. It only takes one or two to abuse hundreds. We can still get justice for victims but we need as many of them to come forward as possible.”

He insists the scandal isn’t limited to the single cases calling it the “elephant in the room”.

Mr Lavery, a victim, went on: “Paedophilia in the game is the big thing nobody talks about. Sadly football just shows that it’s endemic in life. It still goes on and will be as big a problem in Scotland than it’s ever been.”

His claims followed an SFA appeal for those affected in the game to speak up in wake of revelations in England.

Mr Lavery revealed he wrote to the governing body advising them of “areas to look at”.

Last night Hampden beaks revealed they are working with cops and kids care charities. A spokesperson said: “We are in ongoing dialogue with Police Scotland and the NSPCC to ensure a co-ordinated response. We reiterate our wish that anybody with information relating to alleged child abuse in Scottish football comes forward using the confidential hotline or contact police.”

Cops confirmed they are investigating claims from other potential victims.

Police said: “We’ve rec-eived reports in connetion with non-recent child abuse within football.”

The bombshell also sparked a Holyrood storm.

Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton said the Nats have been urged to launch a wider inquiry covering areas like sport because it’s not included in the current historical abuse inquiry.

The Government already faced criticism that the probe — looking into treatment of youngsters in residential care, long-term hospital stays, boarding schools and foster care — is too narrow.

Ms Hamilton said: “The current inquiry risks not going far enough in helping victims. I am disappointed the Scottish Government is not going forward with an investigation into the abuse in sports clubs.”

Meanwhile the SNP’s Christine Grahame said: “Anyone who believes they were abused as a child involved in football or has a concern about someone they think was abused should contact police.”

The plea was echoed by the chief exec of Children 1st.

Alison Todd said: “Abuse pervades all parts of society. The fact that reports of child abuse in sport are now surfacing in Scotland is no surprise.”

We told yesterday how ex-footie starlet Dougie Gilligan, of Hamilton, claims he was targeted aged 13 by paedo coach Barry Bennell at Butlins training camps in the 1970s.

Last week ex-Scotland striker Alan Brazil, 57, spoke again about how he was targeted as a 13-year-old at Celtic Boys’ Club by youth boss Jim Torbett — caged for 2½ years in 1998. ScottishSun

 

 

 

 


Scottish football under spotlight as Police Scotland confirms major probe into historic child sex abuse claims    29th Nov 2016

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CHILD ABUSE BOMBSHELL

The force joins several investigations across the UK to look into fresh abuse allegations in the sport

POLICE Scotland has launched a major investigation into allegations of historic child abuse in Scottish football.

It follows a series of abuse claims emerging from former players in recent days.

Those include claims against former Crew Alexander coach Barry Bennell who has been charged with eight offences against a boy aged under-14.

Tonight Police Scotland confirmed it was working with partner agencies across the country as part of a UK-wide response extending and that it too had received specific allegations.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we have received reports in connection with non-recent child abuse within football. We are working with both Operation Hydrant and the NSPCC to ensure there is a coordinated UK police response. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The move comes just days after the SFA joined others in throwing its support behind a campaign to have anyone with knowledge of child abuse in football to speak out.

The SFA’s Child Wellbeing and Protection manager Donna Martin said earlier this week: “The safety and well-being of children is off paramount importance to the Scottish FA and significant steps have been taken to ensure that their protection is integral to Scottish football’s decision making process.”

But Fraser Wishart, the chief executive of players’ union PFA Scotland, said it would be “naive to think that these allegations are unique to one part of the UK” and vowed to protect any players that come forward.

Lesleyboal

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY CORPORATE

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal encouraged others to get in touch

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Tam Baillie also told BBC Radio Scotland earlier: “I fear we are on the brink of many revelations.”

Today it was revealed a UK hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in the wake of the claims has received more than 250 reports since launching last week.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, part of Police Scotland’s public protection unit, encouraged others to get in touch.

She said: “Speaking out about any form of child abuse is incredibly difficult and disclosures are often made many years after an incident took place. Police Scotland will listen to any such disclosure, regardless of the passage of time, and will investigate as well as work with partner organisations who have access to advocacy and support during the process of disclosure and investigation. We appreciate that sometimes finding a safe place to first talk about experiences helps eventual disclosure and would encourage anybody who feels this would assist to contact a support organisation.Details of such organisations can be accessed via Survivor Scotland.”

She added: “Keeping children and young people safe is a top priority for Police Scotland and everyone has a role to play in protecting the country’s children. Where reports are made, we will assess any current risks and ensure appropriate action is taken. We will continue to work with partners, including the National Police Chiefs Council through Operation Hydrant, the Scottish Football Association and the NSPCC to ensure a co-ordinated police response is in place and that we maintain an accurate picture of child abuse investigations.”

Just last week the SFA joined the campaign supporting players who suffered abuse by coaches to speak out in the wake of revelations south of the border.

And the Scottish Government was today urged by a Tory MSP to launch a “focused investigation” into abuse of children in sports clubs.

MSP Rachael Hamilton said there have been pleas for the SNP administration to launch a wider inquiry covering areas such as sport as the sector is not included in the current historical abuse inquiry.

The Government has already faced criticism that the inquiry – looking into treatment of children who were in residential care, those who had long-term stays in hospital, boarding schools and those under foster care – is too narrow.

“The current inquiry risks not going far enough in helping victims of child abuse,” Ms Hamilton said. I am disappointed that the Scottish Government is not going forward with an investigation into the abuse in sports clubs.”

SNP MSP Christine Grahame meanwhile insisted the SFA should not have an investigatory role in any abuse allegations due to potential conflicts of interest.

The Minister added: “Anyone who believes they were abused as a child involved in football or has a concern about someone they think was abused should contact police to investigate.”  Scottish Sun


Eight police forces now looking at alleged historical abuse linked to football 

There have been 250 reports made to police and more than 50 calls were made to an NSPCC hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in football in the initial hours of opening.

Police Scotland is the latest force to confirm it is looking into allegations following claims of sexual abuse by former players, as the FA begins an internal review.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received reports in connection with non-recent child abuse within football. We are working with both Operation Hydrant and the NSPCC to ensure there is a co-ordinated UK police response. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

In the House of Lords, Baroness Chisholm said: “Since this has come out, 250 people have already contacted the police in England and Wales.”

The national child abuse inquiry headed by Professor Alexis Jay is considering whether to investigate abuse in football as part of its overarching probe, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told MPs.

And ministers are writing to all national sporting bodies to ask them to ”redouble their efforts” to protect children in the wake of the scandal.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has admitted he does not know if the abuse in football was covered up by the authorities, as he scrambles to respond to ”the biggest crisis” he has ever seen face the game.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: ”We have received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire. The inquiries were received recently (the weekend of 26/27th) and are being looked into.”

The Metropolitan, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Cheshire and Northumbria police forces are all also investigating reports of abuse. Daily Mail