Soccer

Celtic FC in a legal battle after sexual assault accusations within the former boys club

Kenny Campbelll, left and circled, was preyed on by Jim Torbett, right, in the Celtic Boys' Club and says he was still in the pervert’s grip when called up to Celtic FC
Spindrift/Daily Record

Scotland’s biggest club is in a legal battle after accusations of abuse arose from the club’s boys club. A group of about 25 victims came forward seeking compensation.

The group alleges that a series of abuses occurred for years in the 60s and 70s. While the legal proceedings are yet to start, the club is in a serious spot as sexual abuse remained prevalent within the club over the years.

Former club manager Jim Torbett came under fire in 1996 after a former player came forward alleging abuse. The courts found Torbett guilty, and he served prison time for his crimes. Since then, more allegations arose regarding Torbett, who is currently behind bars for another sexual assault charge in 2018.

Several other former club employees also served time for sexual abuse.

Now with another wave of allegations, Celtic may be found responsible due to their close connection to the boys club. While not directly affiliated to the club (now branded as St. Patrick’s Sports Academy), Celtic FC held close ties to the youth team.

Due to this affiliation, the club now has to fight the claim that it is partly responsible for the abuse.

This case also has historical value in Scotland as it is one of the first high-profile cases to use a newly passed law that allows group legal action. Thompsons Solicitors Scotland will represent the group as they pursue legal action.

Celtic issued a statement addressing the legal battle and the victims.

“The club is continuing to deal with these sensitive matters in conjunction with its advisers. The club again expresses its sincere sympathy, regret and sorrow to those affected and reiterates that it will stand by its responsibilities, respecting the due process of law.”

Celtic FC

The allegations mark another bump in the road for the club, who suffered last season, finishing 25 points behind rivals Rangers. It also marked the first time in 9 years that the club failed to win the league. The club also sits dead last in its Europa League group.

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