Manchester City have issued an apology to those sexually abused by Barry Bennell and John Broome during their time as youth coaches, while also announcing that a fund has been set up in order to support those victims.
Bennell was sentenced to 31 years in prison in February 2018 after being found guilty of 50 sexual offences across a 31-year period against children as young as eight, while Broome, who died in 2010, was a talent spotter for the club between 1964-71, with as many as nine people coming forward to report him for sexual abuse, including rape.
In response, City have released an official club statement apologising to those victims, while also announcing that a fund has been set up to offer support to those affected during legal proceedings, which are still ongoing.
"As has previously been announced by the Club, in November 2016 the Club commissioned an exhaustive and ongoing QC led review to understand whether, and if so how, the Club was used by Barry Bennell or any other individual to facilitate alleged sexual abuse of children from 1964 to the present day," read the statement on their official website.
"That Review led to the uncovering of serious allegations of child sex abuse in respect of another individual, John Broome. It is to victims of those two individuals that the Scheme applies.
"The Club's Review remains ongoing and Manchester City FC continues to be restricted as to what it can make public at present for legal reasons. The Club reiterates, however, its heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences that they endured. All victims were entitled to expect full protection from the kind of harm they suffered as a result of their sexual abuse as children.
"The Club remains fully focused on completing its Review to the highest standard possible."
According to The Guardian, the fund is thought to be the first of its kind set up by a football club involved in a sexual abuse scandal, and means that former players who were planning, or had initiated, legal action against the club can 'avoid the costs, time, emotional distress and complexity of a trial with an alternative dispute-resolution process'.
The fund, set up by Ravi Nayer, a partner at Pinsent Masons, in the legal firm’s London office, is also meant to 'provide a speedier, cheaper and more predictable means of compensation than lengthy, expensive formal court litigation'.