Ex-Chelsea player claims club paid him £50,000 hush-money over sex abuse allegationsPublished December 02, 2016
Chelsea have become the latest club to become embroiled in the child sex abuse allegations tainting much of the country, with an ex-player claiming the west London club paid him £50,000 to keep silent over the incidents.
Gary Johnson alleges that he was abused from the age of 13 by youth team coach Eddie Heath, who has now deceased.
The Daily Mirror writes that Johnson made Chelsea aware of his case, and was then given £50,000 to sign a confidentiality agreement in 2015 as part of a conspiracy to cover up the abuse.
“They basically said ‘prove it’,” he told the paper. “It made me feel like they thought I was faking it.”
“Millions of fans around the world watch Chelsea. They are one of the biggest and richest clubs in the world.
“All their fans deserve to know the truth about what went on. I know they asked me to sign a gagging order. How many others are there out there?
“They may have paid others for their silence. I hope and pray no clubs are allowed to cover this up – no one should escape justice.”
In light of the concerning allegations, the Stamford Bridge outfit have released a statement outlining their desire to cooperate fully with any potential investigation by the Football Association.
A club statement read: “Chelsea Football Club has retained an external law firm to carry out an investigation concerning an individual employed by the club in the 1970s, who is now deceased.
“The club has also contacted the FA to ensure that all possible assistance is provided as part of their wider investigation.
“This will include providing the FA with any relevant information arising out of the club’s investigation.”
After the scandal hit the headlines last week, the National Police Chiefs’ Council estimates that it has received in excess of 800 calls over abuse since it opened its football hotline.
17 Police forces across the country are now investigating cases of a similar nature.
A number of high-profile clubs, including Manchester City and Newcastle United have also been implicated in the inquiries.