Johnson wants Chelsea compensation over abuse

Former Blues player is one of several former footballers to have spoken out about being abused by youth coaches


Afp December 08, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Former Chelsea player Gary Johnson said on Thursday he should receive more financial compensation from the club after being sexually abused by their former chief scout Eddie Heath.

It recently emerged Chelsea, the current Premier League leaders, paid Johnson £50,000 in 2015 not to go public with his allegations against Heath, who died in the 1980s.

Chelsea waived the confidentiality clause in the agreement in order to publicly apologise to Johnson, but he said the money was "not enough for the pain and suffering I've had".

England's FA probes child sex abuse claims


He told BBC television: "It took away my childhood -- I can never get that back."

Johnson revealed he met three Chelsea directors on Wednesday and they apologised for the abuse to which he was subjected during his time at the club.

Asked if he felt he deserved more from Chelsea, he replied: "Yes. It would help me build a better life. I was pushed into a corner and told I had to sign it to get the money."

Johnson is one of several former footballers to have spoken out about being abused by youth coaches during their formative years as players in a scandal that has rocked British sport.

Former English football players allege sex abuse


London's Metropolitan Police said it had opened a formal investigation into non-recent allegations involving clubs in the capital. It did not say which clubs were being probed.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet said all allegations would be handled "sensitively" and "very seriously".

Twenty-one British police forces are investigating claims of sexual abuse in youth football, with hundreds of people reporting abuse.

England's Football Association has also opened an investigation.

Southampton are facing the threat of legal action after a law firm revealed it had been instructed by a man alleging sexual abuse when he was a member of the club's youth set-up during the 1980s.

Lawyers for the man, who spent two years at Southampton as a youth player, said he now suffers from severe mental health problems, Britain's Press Association reported.

It comes after former Southampton and England player Matt Le Tissier revealed he was given a "very, very wrong" naked massage by a youth coach at the club.

Le Tissier did not say he had been abused.

Southampton say they are "committed to working together" with police to investigate any historical child sex abuse allegations.

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