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The 11th March 2019 saw numerous media reports that Manchester City football club had decided, at the highest level of management, to launch a “survivors’ scheme”.

The club is in the process of holding an independent inquiry into Barry Bennell’s connections with the club, whilst he was working as a youth coach and junior football scout. The inquiry has been underway for almost two and a half years, but the decision came earlier than the result of the inquiry. This has shown to those subjected to Bennell’s devastating treatment that the club was taking the reports seriously.

Manchester City is the first club to set up such a scheme and they commented on how they want “to do the right thing”, as a result of the inquiry. Manchester City will be offering compensation to the survivors of abuse, taking into account the seriousness of crimes, the psychological damage and potential loss of earnings. It has been estimated that those most affected will see compensation claims in the region of a six-figure pay-out.

Manchester City have stated that the pay-outs range between £15,000 to £100,000.

Bennell was sentenced on the 19th February 2019 at Liverpool Crown Court by judge, Clement Goldstone QC said, “Your behaviour towards these boys in grooming and seducing them before subjecting them to, in some cases, the most serious, degrading and humiliating abuse was sheer evil.”

“To those boys you appeared as a god… in reality you were the devil incarnate”

Judge Goldstone aptly recognised the devastating effect Bennell’s behaviour had on his victims, saying “You stole their childhoods and their innocence”

Bennell worked in at least four professional English football clubs including Stoke City, Leeds United, Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra. These clubs are all now under scrutiny and following Manchester City being the first club to establish a compensation scheme of its own, other clubs have been under increasing pressure to follow suit.

A Crewe spokesman would not comment when asked if the club was going to create a similar scheme. However on 27th March, it was reported that Crewe had agreed to pay compensation to a victim of Barry Bennell’s who wants to remain anonymous.

Our abuse team led by Natalie Marrison will work sensitively with you to access compensation following sexual abuse and violence suffered as a child. For a completely confidential discussion please contact the Ramsdens Abuse team on 0113 8871 834.