English Premier League club Manchester City has launched a scheme to help survivors involved in a sexual abuse scandal that resulted in former youth coach and junior scout Barry Bennell being imprisoned for 31 years.
The 65-year-old Bennell was sentenced last year for 50 counts of child sexual abuse against 12 boys between the ages of eight and 15 from 1979 to 1991.
The redress scheme is widely reported to offer financial compensation worth millions of dollars to the survivors, as well as an official apology. The club did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for further details about the scheme.
“The club’s review remains ongoing and Manchester City FC continues to be restricted as to what it can make public at present for legal reasons,” said a statement.
“The club reiterates, however, its heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences that they endured. All victims were entitled to expect full protection from the kind of harm they suffered as a result of their sexual abuse as children.”
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Man City continues to review the allegations that date back to 1964, and recently named a second coach, the late John Broome, who is believed to have sexually abused players.
Bennell, who also coached at Crewe Alexander in the north west of England, was described as “the devil incarnate” when he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in February last year.
Allegations against the youth coach were first made in November 2016 when former player Andy Woodward broke his 30-year silence in the Guardian, prompting other victims to also come forward.
“The club remains fully focused on completing its review to the highest standard possible.,” the statement from Man City continued.
“Manchester City and the review team remain keen to speak to any survivor of, or witness to sexual abuse which might in any way be connected to Manchester City or which could support the ongoing review.”