English Clubs Could Face £100M Worth Of Compensation Payments To Abuse Victims
English football clubs have "begun privately assessing possible financial ramifications of the game's sexual abuse scandal," which some legal sources believe could cost the industry £100M ($128.5M) in compensation payments, according to Nick Harris of the London DAILY MAIL. Between 150 and 200 claims for financial compensation "could eventually materialise," after "some of the 31 alleged victims of a single deceased coach" have begun financial proceedings against League One side Blackpool. The latest official figures released on June 30 by police show there were "714 alleged victims of historic abuse in football by that date, at the hands of 276 alleged suspects across 328 clubs at all levels." Support organization Offside Trust co-Founder Steve Walters said, "It has already grown beyond that and will continue to grow." Walters, 45, a former League Two side Crewe Alexandra midfielder, went public last year with his own experiences of alleged abuse at the hands of a coach against whom legal action is ongoing. The Trust was established to "support victims of abuse and their families," and while it is not currently advocating compensation claims as an organization, Walters confirmed he knows "some victims are pursuing such action." There remains the prospect of legal action against the FA if an ongoing independent inquiry by Clive Sheldon QC concludes it was "negligent" in its duty of care to players in historic cases. But no current such action has been confirmed (DAILY MAIL, 8/19).