Manchester City are launching a “survivors’ scheme” for the victims of Barry Bennell that will lead to the Premier League champions offering compensation packages, adding up to several million pounds, and ultimately an apology to the players who were sexually abused during their time in the club’s junior set-up.
In the first scheme of its kind to be set up by one of the clubs implicated in football’s sexual abuse scandal, City will announce they want “to do the right thing” on the back of their independent inquiry, still ongoing after almost two and a half years, into Bennell’s connections with the club, where he had a prominent role in the youth structure and used that position to prey on boys as young as eight. Bennell is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence, with the possibility of another criminal trial to follow next year, and a decision has now been taken, at the highest level of the club, that financial settlements should be offered to the boys he raped and molested during his years at City, taking into account the seriousness of the crimes, the psychological damage and potential loss of earnings. Many of those most affected will be eligible for six-figure payments. The same will apply to the victims of John Broome after City’s independent inquiry into Bennell uncovered evidence that the man described in court as an “industrial-scale child molester” was not the first paedophile to have an association with the club.