CHILD ABUSE: Rangers apologise to victims of child sex abuse in football

By Democrat reporter

Rangers have issued an apology to the victims of child sex abuse in Scottish football.

The Ibrox club expressed its “sincere sympathy” and praised the bravery of survivors who came forward to tell their stories.

The Scottish Football Association last month published a review into historical child sex abuse in the sport.

Rangers were one of many clubs named in the report, which investigated the harrowing accounts of abuse allegations and called for apologies.  Other clubs have previously said sorry to the victims.

The Rangers statement read: “We are in receipt of the report published by the SFA following the review of sexual abuse in Scottish football and have taken some time to consider its lengthy findings and recommendations.

“We are firmly committed to ensuring openness and transparency in relation to this issue and agree on the uninterrupted ethical obligation of clubs over time, irrespective of changes.

“We express our sincere sympathy to all individuals who have suffered abuse within the Scottish game and commend the bravery of all survivors who have come forward.”

Among the claims, the report said a former youth coach at Rangers was alleged to have sexually assaulted a number of children.

Rangers’ statement continued: “With regard to the specific instances referred to, as the report states, these concerned one former employee.

“We note the report accepts that when former senior managers were provided with a direct allegation this was taken seriously and dealt with promptly.

“The report commends the action taken and acknowledges Rangers have previously said publicly the matter was reported to the police at the time.

“Today, Rangers is at the forefront of child safety and well-being in football. We believe it is a moral obligation to ensure that Scottish football is beyond reproach and all safeguarding measures are strictly adhered to.

“We agree that it is time for all of Scottish Football to learn from and take responsibility for mistakes made in the past. We fully acknowledge the impact of these events and the enduring effect on individual lives.

“We apologise to anyone personally affected by abuse within Scottish football.”

The authors of the report said they were “struck by how easy it was for these adults (with a sexual interest in children and young people) to navigate Scottish football in such a way as to make their activities accomplishable and to maximise secrecy and concealment”.

It added: “The full picture of the true extent and nature of sexual abuse in Scottish football will likely never be known.”

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