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Football Abuse Claims
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Are you a survivor of child abuse who is seeking justice?
If you or a loved one has been affected by abuse while attending a football club, the solicitors at Ramsdens will work tirelessly to help you.
Ramsdens Solicitors strives to achieve the best result possible for every individual case we handle - we only have your best interests in mind.
What’s more, in our many years of helping survivors of abuse get the justice they deserve, we have seen first hand how distressing the legal process can be for victims. That’s why we ensure we treat every case with the utmost sensitivity and care for our clients throughout the case.
Natalie Marrison heads up the Abuse Law team at Ramsdens. Our experience includes advising and supporting claims for compensation.
The football abuse scandal, which has featured heavily in the press and public eye in recent years, has been exposed by brave former young footballers who suffered abuse over many years and have decided to tell their story.
The allegations have predominantly centred around former football coach Barry Bennell, who worked at the following clubs:
Bennell was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual offences against 11 boys aged between eight and 15 years old. Many more than this number have also come forward to say they were subjected to abuse by Bennell.
Michael “Kit” Carson, a well-known football coach who worked at Peterborough, Cambridge and Norwich, was charged with sexual offences carried out against boys between 1978 and 2009. However, he was killed in a car crash on the first day of his sex abuse trial.
By July 2018, 300 suspects were reported to have been identified by 849 survivors, with 2,087 incidents involving 340 different clubs. As a result, 14 individuals have been charged with historical sexual abuse, of which, 13 have been tried.
Allegations of football abuse have resulted in an unprecedented demand for advice from the NSPCC. The organisation’s dedicated football abuse helpline reported 50 calls within its first two hours of opening, and 860 calls in its first week.
Reports of historic sexual abuse gained publicity when former Sheffield United player Andy Woodward told the Guardian about the abuse he was subjected to by Barry Bennell when he was a youth academy player at Crewe Alexandra. Shortly after, former Crewe player Steve Walters and former Liverpool player Paul Stewart bravely shared their experiences.
The law places a clear duty of care upon football clubs to provide a safe environment for young players. In cases where young players have been subjected to abuse by managers or coaches, the club can be held legally responsible and be liable to pay compensation. Those members of staff who are found guilty of abuse can face severe criminal charges.
Although some people may believe there is no point in bringing a historic case of sexual abuse to the fore, justice can still be served and compensation can be paid. Even in cases where the perpetrator has since died, an investigation by the police can still be carried out.
A survey carried out by the NSPCC revealed that boys are far less likely than girls to speak out about being a victim of child sexual abuse. However, failure to seek justice can lead to considerable distress and many mental health problems further down the line.
The Abuse team at Ramsdens will act for you in claiming compensation against a football club or individual associated with it. We will support you from your initial enquiry and report to the police, advise on criminal proceedings and then throughout the compensation claim focusing on the survivors’ rehabilitation needs and also any requirements of support for their families. We ensure that claims are maximised in terms of damages having a wealth of knowledge on case law surrounding this area.
Discuss your circumstances with a friendly and knowledgeable solicitor today. We will work tirelessly on your case, offering support and guidance at every step. Contact us by calling 0113 883 1834 or fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time that is suitable for you.