Celtic look to settle Boys Club sex abuse cases

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Thompsons Solicitors say Celtic have indicated they intend to enter settlement negotiations relating to historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club; Celtic have not admitted liability or made any formal concessions

Tuesday 19 September 2023 17:42, UK

Celtic are looking to settle legal claims relating to historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club, according to the law firm representing a number of former players.

Thompsons Solicitors say the club have indicated they intend to enter settlement negotiations.

Celtic have not admitted liability or made any formal concessions – having previously said the Boys Club was an “entirely separate” organisation.

A spokesperson for Celtic Football Club told Sky Sports News: “Celtic Football Club has always taken allegations regarding abuse at Celtic Boys’ Club extremely seriously.

“Celtic Football Club and their lawyers have made strenuous efforts to investigate these matters and they continue to do so.

“Celtic’s lawyers continue to investigate and discuss these cases with the lawyers acting for those who suffered abuse at Celtic Boys’ Club.

“Those discussions are ongoing. It would not be appropriate for Celtic Football Club to comment any further while there are ongoing legal proceedings”.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Dundee at Celtic Park, on September 16, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Image: Celtic are looking to settle legal claims relating to historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club, according to the law firm representing a number of former players

In March a judge allowed 22 former Boys Club players permission to launch a group claim for damages against Celtic for alleged abuses at Celtic Boys Club.

Group proceedings are similar to US class action style actions and were brought into law in Scotland in 2020 and allow groups of two or more people with the same, or similar claims, to raise a single action in the Court of Session.

A number of senior figures at the boys club have been jailed for sexual abuse over recent years, with the club previously saying it is “appalled by any form of historical abuse”.

The upcoming hearing in October is now set to be adjourned.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Dundee at Celtic Park, on September 16, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Image: The decision to allow a group legal action against Celtic was allowed in March

A statement from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Thompsons Solicitors are pleased to confirm that Celtic Plc have indicated their intention to enter settlement negotiations within the context of the Celtic Group Proceedings Litigation.

“This litigation relates to cases of historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club by convicted paedophiles, James Torbett and Frank Cairney.

“Celtic Plc have not formally admitted liability or made any other formal concessions but their desire to now enter negotiations to explore the possibility of a settlement of this action has been made clear.

“This means that parties will ask the Court to adjourn the forthcoming proof to allow work to be undertaken to value individual cases.

“We appreciate that there has been significant public interest in this action and hope that this comment clarifies the current situation.

“There will be no further comment at this stage from Thompsons or our clients. Please do not contact our clients directly for comment. We are grateful for this position being respected.”

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