The children who were allegedly assaulted during their time at Celtic Boys club have been granted permission to bring a class action against Celtic PLC.
The BBC reports;
A judge has given the go-ahead for sex abuse survivors to launch a multi-million pound claim against Celtic FC.
Lord Arthurson gave permission for 22 former Celtic Boys Club players to launch a US-style “class action” group claim against the club.
Advocate Ian Mackay QC, representing the men who were abused while at the youth team, said Celtic FC and the boys club were “intimately connected”.
Celtic FC denied the claim and said the organisations were separate entities.
During a virtual hearing of the Court of Session on Tuesday, Lord Arthurson said the legal criteria for allowing the action to proceed had been met.
The 22 former players came forward seeking compensation after being sexually assaulted while playing for Celtic Boys Club.
They brought “group proceedings” against Celtic FC PLC – a procedure similar to US class action style litigations.
Group proceedings were brought in to Scots law in 2020. They allow groups of two or more people with the same, or similar, claims to raise a single action in the Court of Session.
On Monday, Mr Mackay had told the court that lawyers for the men uncovered evidence which showed apparent close links between Celtic Boys Club and Celtic FC.
Mr Mackay said: “Celtic Boys Club was intimately connected to Celtic Football Club – it was branded as being closely connected to Celtic Football Club.
“Players played in Celtic strips and wore blazers which were virtually identical to those worn by Celtic FC players.
“Football kit, holdalls and training gear were provided by Celtic Football Club. The pursuers’ understanding was that they were playing for the boys club of Celtic Football Club.
He added: “Celtic Football Club exercised control over who played for Celtic Boys Club because scouts recruited players who they considered were good enough to play for Celtic Football Club.
“The Boys Club was a nursery for senior team players. Celtic Boys Club was in effect what could be now known as the academy of Celtic Football Club.
“Celtic is vicariously liable for assaults.”
Roddy Dunlop QC, for Celtic FC, had told Lord Arthurson that the action should not be allowed to proceed.
He said his clients believed they would not get a “fair trial” because documents which would be key to their case – that the boys club and Celtic FC were different entities were missing.
Lord Arthurson said the issues being faced by Celtic were not so great as to force the action to stop.
He also passed a court order prohibiting the identification of the people who had brought the legal action.
Lord Arthurson said: “The common issue in the proceedings is the question of the vicarious liability of the defenders for the actions of these individuals. The court accordingly grants the permission application.”
But what the club should be doing here is dealing with the situation in a caring and compassionate way towards the victims. Pretending it never happened or blaming it on others is unacceptable.
Equally unpalatable is dragging the victims through the courts, forcing them to relive a traumatic period of their lives.
However, there is another side to it.
The question of responsibility, directly and indirectly for the crimes that were undoubtedly committed.
Celtic Boys Club was a separate legal entity, and no matter how hard a lawyer can argue, or even how morally correct that argument may appear to be, that it wasn’t, liability will be difficult to prove.
The crimes were those of individuals, many of whom have been punished in law.
Corporate responsibility is an entirely different and complex matter.
Where does that line of culpability end, for instance ?
Is it with who hired the perpetrator, or who hired the guy who hired the perpetrator ?
Did someone forget to do the necessary checks ? Or did some forget to remind him ?
Effectively, the case culd drag on for years, and the only winners will be the legal teams, and lawyers have a habit of telling their clients they have a good case.
Until it looks like they are going to lose. Then it will be someone elses fault, they say, as they type out the bill…
There is no easy solution, but there is perhaps a better solution.
The club should, if they have not already, undergo extensive interviewing of all those who played at the boys club at the time, and find out who has been abused.
All done in secrecy, all done in the presence of trained professionals who are given the task of looking after the welfare of these kids while they are being interviewed.
Apart from anything esle, it may lead to exposing and convicting others who abused who may have escaped thus far unpunished.
Then, when the evidence has been amassed, and remember, it;s not the kids who are on trial, then suitable payments, or other compensation, decided and agreed with each victim, should be paid.
No amount of money can replace in some cases what were lost childhoods, and Celtic, whether they like it or not, are in some way responsible.
It’s time to do the right thing and at least try to make up for what happened to these kids.
The moral dimension is more important than any financial issues.
But it must be done compassionately and fairly.
Elsewhere, it’s back to action tomorrow with a home game against St mirren and a trip to Livingston at the weekend.
When we looked at the current form table yesterday, it was pointed out that the second and third best sides are our next two opponents.
Thats because they haven’t played Celtic for a while !
Or it could be that they’re playing well.
No, it didn’t make me feel more confident either, given the lollygagging of late from the team.
A return to form is essential, and for that to happen the pace and urgency needs to increase.
Whilst we’ve had a couple of players missing, players who made a huge impact in the first half of the season, by and large we’ve coped with it, it just so happens that on the other side of the river, it seems the new club/company are having similar issues.
Except that when they lose the support of their most influential players, in this case the middle of the field trio of Madden Beaton and Dallas, it hurts them more.
They’re not getting those crucial breaks in the box any more, provided by the creative imagination of the trio, and thats worried those down Ibrox way.
So much so that Gio van Bronckhurst has asked his bosses for the introduction of VAR to make up the shortfall, completely missing the point that with VAr the title race would have been long since settled.
Perhaps it was the club/company criticism of referees, which included demanding and getting meetings with the SFA, or perhaps it was ..or is…the intense social media pressure which relentlessly pointed out the frequency of these assists, the amplification of the perception of bias.
Whatever it is, they’re not getting the help they used to, and at a time they need it the most…
Perhaps their friends at Hampden are sick if this incarnation of their favourites, and have decided to accelerate their demise.
After all, they’ve already put the procedure in place to replace them with another version of the rangers.
And so to the lighter stuff…
R. St. Parsley
Another disappointing turnout at the Sell Morales auction
It is true that these victims suffered in the hands of those predators, if these predators were employed by Celtic FC then the club is accountable as they represented the club in some form imo, I can’t even imagine what they went through…
Aaron Ramsey confirmed as basket case
“Board finally settle on an alternative to Parks”
100% agree. All of us would love our children to be able to join academy’s where they may turn out to be decent or superb professionals. And be absolutely sure they are happy, safe and protected. Celtic will come through this, but by delaying could really drag the club through the mire. But we must be responsible if only to ensure this never happens again, anytime, anywhere. Lives have been destroyed by this evil. Celtic are rich beyond many and worst case is a title or two as I am sorry to say, books would be balanced by sales or lack of acquisition. Children and responsibility come first in this, not titles. Making it right to those who suffered is the priority. Sad to say financial outlay meaning less incomings would be addressed simply by, strangely enough, promoting young players. But this must be faced and will set a precedent amongst other clubs and their denials who do become associated with this crime by not defending that, which after all, are our greatest gift and treasure, our children. Move forwards and move on and this stain can be somehow healed and those who see sport as an opportunity to prey brought to book and shown you will not get away with this by frightening and blackmailing the innocent. The sooner the better and we can then enjoy football for what it was always meant to be, entertainment and a healthy passion. HH!
Whats doing my head in about the abuse is why are celtic getting mentioned all the time didn’t that mob at liebrox get done in 1992 kenny watson 5 years he got and harry dunn john chalmers and a few others but coming out.of liebrox is ranjurs were liquidated so they can sue the club if its not hear but its funny how they claim the ebt sideletters titles but leave debts of 165million and yet they scum at liebrox try and point score on kids getting abused that how sick this we masonic country is go after celtic and take the heat off of the ranjurs 2012 i wish i was never born in a mason scotland honest rats and tory scum that run it.
‘Why are Celtic getting mentioned all the time?’
Don’t you know how Masonic Scotland works yet?
Why are Celtic getting mentioned? Cos there was children molested whilst at a club which, no matter how you dress it up, was Celtic.
Time to take responsibility. This should have been dealt with years ago.
Having VAR won’t make any difference as the same bent officials will be deciding on it and it’s obvious that they don’t give a damn about what we all think as the media will back every decision against Celtic.
“[A football club will be formed] for the maintenance of the dinner tables of our needy children.” Before a ball was kicked, a song sung, a trophy won – what was put first? Vulnerable children. And what happens if we win the case, what’s won and what is saved? I understand Man City have promised 10-100k per vicitm of which there are 40 from their funds. That’s 4 million. Barkas was 5! We should have hired the right people to pay the right people and then put another million on top into child protection. But we are feeding lawyers instead. Dear God.
You’re right but its the way corporate/government responsibility is dealt with eg various rail disasters, Hillsborough, Grenfell etc, victims end up getting precious little after long, exhaustive cases.
Not that it affects moral responsibility but the idea that this will be American style tens and hundreds of millions that will sink us or even affect normal operations just isn’t the case in this country.
Whether it should is another matter but it isn’t the case now.
This, by Celtic’s QC stood out for me:
“He said his clients believed they would not get a “fair trial” because documents which would be key to their case – that the boys club and Celtic FC were different entities were missing.”
I’m not sure if this was by someone at CBC but destruction or missing evidence is never a good look.
The other aspect is that this is a civil trial so the burden of proof is on the balance of probabilities (cf Goodwillie) so simply arguing that CBC and CFC were separate legal entities may not be enough if the club is considered to have a controlling interest over the Boys Club.
On the other hand, just passing this stage doesn’t mean the action is going to be successful.
Either way, unless Celtic are prepared to enter meaningful mediation this is likely to run for many more years of embarrassing publicity, which a finding of no responsibility will not stop.
If Celtic do enter mediation then clearly they cannot be the controlling party and this needs to be an independent body, acceptable to the alleged victims, with the club bound by their findings.
Man City provided a redress scheme to avoid court cases. It’s not inevitable it was our club’s choice to take these men through court to try and avoid paying them.
You’re right and there was also a failed court case against City, although the circumstances were different.
In that case it was against an individual and it was proven that City knew about it.
Caption: And if you see that gobsh*te Liam tell him I wrote all the good songs and his new band is fookin p*sh!”
Caption: Aaron Ramsay going up for a header
Caption: “A shoite Rod Hull and Emu, you’re just a shoite Rod Hull and Emu…..”
Anywhere there are children, abusers congregate, the issue is if anyone was aware was anything done. If not then there is a responsibility on the club to have taken action. The same jackets, strips etc; are a diversion from the issue, as the name of the organisation. If you are not aware of a crime being committed you are not liable, if you are then you have a legal requirement to act.
The lawyers involved are not there for justice, but reward, Celtic Board should have taken action long before now, and to drag this through court whether liable or not is a corporate stance, not a Celtic one.
It is incredible that they are considering a tournament in Australia with the other mob, when will they realise this is pathetic and scraping the barrel for cash
I think its already been shown that some abusers were got rid off but then brought back in.
The alleged victims claim to have documentation regarding this, although at this stage this has not been produced.
I agree on the corporate issue and its a disgrace that we have no, for example, corporate manslaughter legislation to deal with catastrophic corporate failures, so corporations are almost encouraged to deny responsibility knowing they’re unlikely to face (much) punishment.
There are no winners in this court case, none at all. But what I would like to happen if we decide to go ahead with it is for us to win the case and then pay the victims compensation anyway. Not because we have to but because we want to.
I fecking hate those ambulance chasing lawyers Thomsons with their faux outrage for the victims. They sniff a payday nothing more nothing less. Win the case, pay the compo and cut the lawyers out of the whole thing.
But above all, make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again, that would be the best result from this.
The rangers basket of assets is off to market and will be sold to the highest bidder ..
o.i.t.r.o. £ 1.
Regarding the abuse case… the club needs to settle with the victims. Morally there’s no question what the right thing to do here is. Legally, defending this case is going to be a lost cause where the key question has changed from ‘is Celtic PLC responsible?’ to ‘how much is this going to cost?’. And from a strictly business standpoint, the reputational damage from having this drag on with public testimony from victims could well exceed any amount the club hope to save by fighting the lawsuit in open court. There is no justification for not coming to an out of court settlement with the victims.
One thing I am curious about is what sort of limits, if any, there are on damages in Scots Law. I know in America the only real limit is that the monetary award cannot bankrupt an individual or company, and beyond that anything goes in terms of what juries can award (or judges allow). A similar case to what Celtic is facing, albeit there were many more plaintiffs and the defendant had much deeper pockets, was settled by Michigan State University to the tune of $490 million that was paid out to over 300 victims. Given a reasonable estimate on the number of potential victims and Celtic’s balance sheet, they would likely be facing a settlement in the range of $20-30+ million if they were in American courts. Obviously that figure might be vastly overstated once the differences between American and Scots law are accounted for, so take that estimate with a giant grain of salt.
Caption – Wee Gio is taken home by his official chauffeur driven holding company vehicle.
‘Who ur youse callin a legless orange basket?’
‘ Shut yir trap, it’s no ma fault ma Maw shagged a half arsed strawman.’
Sho’ nuff, JimBob.
Well put together Ralph. This is a blot on Celtic made worse by the inept way it has been handled. They could have learned from the Church who were in denial about abuse by priests over many years and despite evidence. To ignore the close link between Celtic Football Club and Celtic Boys club is embarrassing. Some at the football club knew, they tried to get abusers out but others let them rerun. Remember Alan Brazil’s revelations. The club needs to step up and make the running not stand back and let the media have a free run at us. The victims are the most important factor not money or even reputational damage.
Peat?—Peat? Wherefore art thou?
Turf accountant with his mobile office.
1) not wishing to be pedantic but “All done in secrecy, all done in the presence of trained professionals who are given the task of looking after the welfare of these kids while they are being interviewed.”
I think you’re forgetting that they’re adults now.
2) you nicked my post from yesterday (and previously) that *the rangers seem to be not getting their usual favours from the men in black due to the complaints letter they sent to the SFA. Glad to have helped you fill some space in the Diary lol.
He’s an idiot and a thief, a censor and a fool.
We should expect no less from someone who drives around with Jeff Bezos’ tadger on his van, and up his jacksie.
My younger brother (sadly deceased) played for CBC during the late 60s. I remember some of those coaches including Torbett and Crainey. He went on tour of Catalonia. When the allegations surfaced I asked him if he knew of or experienced anything about the abuses. He said that he didn’t. I took him at his word. That said, my old man attended many of his games and was on friendly terms with Torbett etc. I now wonder, and I stand to be corrected, if these bastards targeted those vulnerable whose dads were unable to be at games at Barrowfield as regularly as my dad. To be straight, the old fella was a big handy guy in his day who, if he even suspected someone abusing my brother there then he would have visited serous grief upon them. Yes I agree with the sentiments in the blog.
I know a boy who played for CBC briefly (mid 1980s) when Torbett and Cairney were very much involved. I recall him saying that very shortly after joining them, after training one evening, he was approached by one the more senior players and was advised that if he was offered a lift by either Torbett or Cairney to make sure he wasn’t on his own and never to sit in the front seat. So obviously the boys themselves were aware of what was going on and doing their best to protect each other. I can only assume that the draw of playing for CBC and potentially being picked up by Celtic was greater than the fear of these predators.
Torbett was well known within boys club circles as a paedophile and I am totally convinced that there was a whole paedophile ring within boys club football around this time. This is based on my own knowledge of boys who were abused within the boys club system (not within CBC I have to add) and whose lives were destroyed as a result of it.
There’s much we’ll never know about CBC and CFC’s involvement, if there was any. However, I do believe those poor lads suffered at the hands of these vermin and some financial compensation may just help them with the rest of their lives. The PLC cannot and will not admit liability, regardless of moral responsibility. My answer? Having looked at the Man City thing whereby each individual would get £10-100k there may be a solution. How the hell you get to a figure, god only knows. So, have some dialogue with the abused and try to reach a reasonable OUT OF COURT settlement with each. Let’s say an average of £50k. It would cost the PLC £1.1 million (22 x £50k) and save the abused more torture. This could bring an immediate end to matters, give some help to those poor abused and allow Celtic FC to show some decency by ending things now. Not perfect I know, but can it ever be in this tragic case?
50 grand, aye?
For a lifetime of torment and suffering?
I’ve a better solution …
Have Dermot pay each individual 10 mil each and it might absolve his immortal soul from this spying on humanity business that his DAON company’s involved in.
The insurance companies might be the ones who determine what the victims get.
Celtic, by law, would have both employers and public liability cover.
Employers liability should cover for any damage to a third party caused by a Celtic employee and public liability for damages sustained within Celtic owned property.
If the huns do come to Aussieland ? I could put the sevconian board in touch with the Melbourne University.
The Uni are one step closer to bringing the extinct Tasmanian Devil back to life.
Maybe with the extra funding they have recently received they could do something about
Rangers FC (IL).
We are the Philanthropic.
Hitchhikers guide to the Wee Gio 42.
Celts by … it`ld be a bloody miracle to foretell.
Caption: Ralph takes his Amazon demotion reasonably well.