Scheme To Help Survivors Of Abuse By Barry Bennell And Others Set Up By Premier League Club
Manchester City Football Club is to set up a scheme to help compensate people who suffered abuse at the hands of staff associated with the club.
Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell representing several people applying to the scheme are sounding a note of caution that the details of the scheme and the compensation amounts available will be crucial to its success.
In 2018 former youth team coach Barry Bennell was convicted of multiple charges relating to the abuse of former junior footballers between 1979 and 1990 while working for Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra. John Broome, who is now dead, is another former youth team coach at Manchester City who has been identified as part of an enquiry into abuse at the club.
Chris Hurlston is a specialist abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represents several footballers who have suffered abuse and has clients who are applying to the scheme.
Expert Opinion“We applaud the attitude of Manchester City in wanting to help people who were subjected to abuse from staff associated with the club. This is a seemingly more supportive approach than other organisations have taken.
“But setting up a scheme for the survivors to apply to is the first step and it remains to be seen how those people applying for help will be dealt with and whether there will be enough funds available to help everyone who needs support.” Chris Hurlston - Associate Solicitor
It is believed the Manchester City's survivors' scheme will allow people to apply for compensation for general damages, potential loss of earnings if their careers have been affected, therapy fees and legal costs. There will also be no confidentiality clause in settlements.
Expert Opinion“We hope that Manchester City will commit to ensuring that those affected will receive the same amount through their own scheme that the former players would be entitled to in a civil legal case. Although anyone not happy with the scheme would still be able to pursue a civil case instead and we recommend that anyone affected seeks independent legal advice on what they are offered through the scheme to ensure that it is fair.
"We would also recommend that anyone who has not applied to the scheme, or come forward so far seeks legal advice, as there is a deadline by which time applications to the scheme must be submitted.” Chris Hurlston - Associate Solicitor