The Child protection chief at one of Scotland’s top boys’ football clubs has resigned amid claims that bullying was ignored by bosses.
Jim Stewart quit Celtic Boys Club after recommending sanctions against a coach, which he claims were ignored.
In his resignation letter, he also claims parents were allowed to verbally abuse coaches, forcing two to resign. He added: “There have been too many instances of children being put at risk with no consequences for the perpetrators.”
Stewart, the club’s child protection officer for five years, was asked to write a report on the conduct of one coach, which resulted in a recommendation that he be removed from coaching duties. Stewart said he was furious after it was ignored.
The coach was accused of bullying a boy at a Dutch tournament in May, leading 13-year-old Reece McManus’s dad to take him away from the club. It emerged the coach had been accused of a similar outburst two years ago, which resulted in another boy being withdrawn from the club.
The Record has seen resignation emails from two coaches who claimed they were being forced to leave because parents’ aggressive actions went unchallenged.
Stewart also wrote: “I can’t accept the committee’s total failure to deal with child protection issues. As the committee will not allow me to act in any way that allows me to protect the health and wellbeing of the children involved with the Boys Club, I have no option but to resign.”
Stewart cited the alleged bullying of a young footballer during the trip to Holland. He said: “I produced a report which included a recommendation the coach have no further involvement in the boys club. I was not allowed to bring this to the committee for discussion.”
Stewart’s letter claims the parents accused of threatening behaviour are related to club committee members.
He told the Record: “I didn’t resign lightly. I didn’t want anyone to be able to accuse me of standing by and doing nothing.”
In response, club chairman Steven McNellis emailed Stewart to say a separate probe into a club coach had been launched. It is thought the committee question the methods used by Stewart in his probe.
Celtic Boys Club, who have no connection to Celtic FC, said: “The club will never tolerate bullying and discrimination.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/child-protection-chief-top-scottish-11197350