New allegations have emerged in the sexual abuse scandal threatening to engulf professional football, with sources claiming that clubs paid off young players to buy their silence.
According to a source close to the investigation, a number of clubs, including one currently playing in the Premiership, gave compensation payouts to footballers after making the victims sign agreements that they would never discuss with anyone what had happened.
The latest allegations are adding fuel to the fire, with fears growing that the game has deliberately covered up historic sexual abuse for decades.
Cheshire and Northumbria police forces had already announced they were investigating historic abuse cases after being contacted by alleged victims. And now Britain’s biggest force, the Met has revealed it is looking into allegations of abuse at a number of London clubs. Hampshire Police say they have also launched a criminal inquiry into sexual abuse at football clubs within their patch.
Officers in Cheshire say that their own investigation is escalating and they are now looking into a growing number of allegations about more than one suspect. One victim has said that football clubs deliberately brushed any suggestion of abuse “under the carpet,” and added that a paedophile ring had been operating in the sport.
One source, who is close to the investigations, said that a number of clubs had handed out secret payouts in recent years. They added: “These cases are subject to strict confidentiality agreements. They relate to allegations against football clubs. One of them is a Premier League club. It is not possible legally for the victims to say anything about the cases. That’s how the clubs have dealt with it.”
Andrew Woodward, who was the first footballer to bravely come forward and reveal that he had been abused said he was digusted by the suggestion that clubs had paid vitims for their silence.