Alarming reports are emerging that a number of football clubs, including one in the Premier League, were complicit in the silencing of young players who had been sexually abused by their coaches.
In the wake of Andy Woodward, the former Crewe Alexandra footballer, breaking his silence on the abuse he suffered under coach Barry Bennell while at the club, the Telegraph report that according to "a well-placed source" a number of football clubs paid compensation to footballers, "but only after victims had signed confidentiality agreements so strict that along with their families and lawyers they are banned from saying publicly if the cases even existed".
The Telegraph also reports that the Metropolitan Police are investigating a number of football clubs in London after it received complaints. Hampshire Police also opened a criminal inquiry as well as Cheshire Police, who told the paper that "a growing number of disclosures" were made about more than one alleged offender.
And an unnamed former Newcastle United footballer told the Northumbria Police that he had been abused in the club's youth system by George Ormond, a convicted paedophile who was a youth coach at the club.
With the Professional Footballers' Association saying that eight more players are contemplating following Woodward and going public with their own experiences, there are claims from players including Jason Dunford (above), formerly of Manchester City, that a paedophile ring exists in professional football.
SEE ALSO: 'I've Got So Much Anger Towards Everything That's Happened' - Sexually Abused Footballer Speaks Out