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Watch: Chelsea Security Abruptly Stop BBC Reporter Reading Club's Statement About Child Abuse

Watch: Chelsea Security Abruptly Stop BBC Reporter Reading Club's Statement About Child Abuse
By Gavin Cooney
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Chelsea this evening released an official statement apologising to Gary Johnson for the sexual abuse he suffered while at the club in the 1970s.

Mr. Johnson told the Mirror last Friday that the club paid him £50,000 to keep quiet about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the club's former chief scout, Eddie Heath.

The statement read that the club were made aware in 2014 that Mr. Johnson was abused by former club employee Eddie Heath throughout the 1970s. Here are some excerpts.

The club confirmed that they are committed to supporting those affected.

This is a challenge for all clubs and everyone involved in the game. As a club, we are absolutely determined to do the right thing: to fully support those affected, and the investigations being carried out. We are working with the Premier League, the Football Association and the police in helping all victims.

Chelsea apologised "profusely" to Mr Johnson.

It is clear that Gary Johnson suffered unacceptably while in our employment in the 1970s for which the club apologises profusely. In the summer of 2014 we received a letter of claim from Slater & Gordon, a prominent law firm which handles sexual abuse claims. They informed us Mr Johnson had been sexually assaulted by Eddie Heath, who had been employed by the club in the 1970s, and that Mr Johnson would bring a claim seeking compensation due to the fact he considered that the club was liable for the abuse.


The club say they will review their non-reporting of the abuse to football governing bodies.

When dealing with this matter, the club operated on the basis that the incidents occurred in the 1970s and Heath had died in the early 1980s. Accordingly, Heath was no longer a risk to children. The extent to which the club should, notwithstanding this, have commenced a more detailed investigation and reported it to the Premier League and FA is an issue that will be addressed in detail in the club’s external law firm review.

They also explained the reason for the inclusion of a confidentiality clause in the original settlement.


At the time that the settlement was reached, the Board understood it was a usual practice to include mutual confidentiality provisions as part of all settlement agreements and accordingly requested that one be included.

The clause bound both parties and ensured that neither could reveal details of the case, including details which claimants might reasonably want to keep private. Mr Johnson’s solicitors did not raise any objection to the draft confidentiality clause and the terms of the settlement were quickly agreed.

More recently, against the current backdrop of wider revelations and other victims coming forward bravely to tell their story, we no longer felt it appropriate to keep the confidentiality agreement in place. It was therefore removed.

The BBC reported the news on their main evening bulletin, and a reporter read the statement live outside the ground.

Bizarrely, somebody at Chelsea took exception to this, and sent a security guard over to stop the reporter mid-sentence.


Odd that the club release a statement, and then object to it being read on the news.


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