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Sheldon Report on child abuse in football


Jacko51
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Crewe knew exactly what was going on and still refuse to acknowledge or apologise.

One of the directors, father of ex Crewe MP Laura Hamilton, brought it up in a meeting but it was swept under the carpet with no investigation. A previous neighbor of mine who's son came through their youth system , told me of his worries as his son was staying weekend nights at the managers home.

Edited by mbycars
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2 minutes ago, mbycars said:

Crewe knew exactly what was going on and still refuse to acknowledge or apologise.

One of the directors, father of ex Crewe MP Laura Hamilton, brought it up in a meeting but it was swept under the carpet with no investigation. A previous neighbor of mine who son came through their youth system , told me of his worries as his son was staying weekend nights at the manager home.

The report actually says of Crewe: "It is likely that three directors of Crewe Alexandra FC discussed concerns about Bennell which hinted at his sexual interest in children. There is no evidence that the advice of a senior police officer to the club's former chairman to keep a 'watching brief' on Bennell was heeded. "

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As a Crewe fan, this report makes disturbing reading and my club does not come out of it well. It was crazy to have kids staying overnight at his house with no supervision. The system in the 70s and 80s played into the hands Of men like Bennell.

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1 minute ago, mr.hobblesworth said:

No offence Phil1965 but your club behaved shamefully. Their negligence enabled the abuse of children and I hope that they're taken to the cleaners for it. If this had happened at Vale I'd struggle to go through the turnstiles ever again. I despise Crewe for this.

I can’t argue with this at all, it’s a very fair point. I feel sick that it happened at the club I love, and my support for them is not what it once was.

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I would hope everyone on here would be sensible with a very serious topic and not use this to "point score" just because it mentions both Stoke City and Crewe.

People become fans of clubs for many reasons and being a supporter (as we all know) doesn't mean implicit endorsement of the club owner's actions.

It could so easily have been Port Vale - Bennell was offered a job at Vale which never happened because he was then arrested. 

I hope that the comments on here are because people are concerned about wellbeing of children at any club. Whether it's Crewe, Stoke or Vale mentioned, the most important thing is that children were abused because opportunities to stop the abuse were missed and this has had a catastrophic effect on many of them.

That said... I do hope that the people mentioned in the report do realise the error of their ways and do face consequences. Football as a whole needs to learn from this and always ensure that welfare and safety comes first.

But for me, the actions of a club's board or staff is exactly that - it's not a reflection of the whole club or fanbase - it's a reflection of the actions of the people in those positions at that time. Those people who failed kids should rightly be ashamed. Fans and other staff who were unaware have nothing to be ashamed of in my view.

 

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Guest Vale at home
1 hour ago, robf said:

I would hope everyone on here would be sensible with a very serious topic and not use this to "point score" just because it mentions both Stoke City and Crewe.

People become fans of clubs for many reasons and being a supporter (as we all know) doesn't mean implicit endorsement of the club owner's actions.

It could so easily have been Port Vale - Bennell was offered a job at Vale which never happened because he was then arrested. 

I hope that the comments on here are because people are concerned about wellbeing of children at any club. Whether it's Crewe, Stoke or Vale mentioned, the most important thing is that children were abused because opportunities to stop the abuse were missed and this has had a catastrophic effect on many of them.

That said... I do hope that the people mentioned in the report do realise the error of their ways and do face consequences. Football as a whole needs to learn from this and always ensure that welfare and safety comes first.

But for me, the actions of a club's board or staff is exactly that - it's not a reflection of the whole club or fanbase - it's a reflection of the actions of the people in those positions at that time. Those people who failed kids should rightly be ashamed. Fans and other staff who were unaware have nothing to be ashamed of in my view.

 

Well said and I do agree.

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1 hour ago, robf said:

I would hope everyone on here would be sensible with a very serious topic and not use this to "point score" just because it mentions both Stoke City and Crewe.

People become fans of clubs for many reasons and being a supporter (as we all know) doesn't mean implicit endorsement of the club owner's actions.

It could so easily have been Port Vale - Bennell was offered a job at Vale which never happened because he was then arrested. 

I hope that the comments on here are because people are concerned about wellbeing of children at any club. Whether it's Crewe, Stoke or Vale mentioned, the most important thing is that children were abused because opportunities to stop the abuse were missed and this has had a catastrophic effect on many of them.

That said... I do hope that the people mentioned in the report do realise the error of their ways and do face consequences. Football as a whole needs to learn from this and always ensure that welfare and safety comes first.

But for me, the actions of a club's board or staff is exactly that - it's not a reflection of the whole club or fanbase - it's a reflection of the actions of the people in those positions at that time. Those people who failed kids should rightly be ashamed. Fans and other staff who were unaware have nothing to be ashamed of in my view.

 

Agree to an extent and certainly wouldn't use this horrific scandal to score points. In fact, I said much the same as you on this forum when this first came out. But I do think that while Crewe's board continue to refuse to hold an inquiry or even apologise, their fans could do a lot more to hold the club to account. The continued actions of the board contribute to the the suffering of those abused by Bennell - in one Guardian interview Andy Woodward talks about this 

Quote

When I ask whether he imagines Crewe might ever apologise, the look on his face tells me: stupid question. He tried to sue for damages in 2004 but, with nobody to back him up, lost his case. At which point, he says, he can remember the club’s lawyers high-fiving in front of him.

and the overal impression one gets from the local media and Crewe message boards is that they just wish this story to go away. If I had the time and money, I'd try and organise a nationwide boycott of Gresty Road until the scum there do the right thing and I wouldn't shed a single tear if the club was bankrupted by any fortcoming claims against them. This has nothing to so with local rivalries or any dislike of Crewe (I've never really minded them tbh, and never joined in with the Dario Gradi songs), just (IMO justified) disgust at the way the club are conducting themselves. If this was Vale, I like to think that our fans would have made a far bigger deal and put far more pressure on our board to do the right thing.

Also, <ovf censored> Dario Gradi.
 

Quote

Sheldon noted that Dario Gradi had told him in an interview “that he did not consider a person putting their hands down another’s trousers to be an assault”.

 

Edited by mr.hobblesworth
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@mr.hobblesworth I take the point but I do still disagree.

By held to account, what specifically should/could the fans do?

Isn't the report itself and presumably the possible legal action that could come as a result of it the ultimate way of holding the individuals to account.

It's also something that happened in the past. Yes, some people are still there but several aren't. I think some are deceased. Any actions fans take now effect the club at present, not the club as it was when this happened. 

I would like to think that all right minded fans would condemn the actions of those implicated (and yes, if fans want to sweep the events under the carpet that's awful) but other than that what else should they do when there's already an official inquiry going on?

Now having said all that... the more broader point was not to "point score" and I don't think your posts/opinion are doing that.

So it wasn't aimed at you, I simply wanted to post that just to make it known in case anyone felt the need to do so and the thread potentially spiralled out of control.

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It's the present administration who refuse to apologise and refuse to hold an inquiry. These refusals by the people at the head of the club continue to impact negatively on people who were sexually abused as children. If my club had high-fiving lawyers rather than statements of genuine shame and regret over what happened, I'd hope we'd be putting a lot of pressure on the board to rectify this. 

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13 minutes ago, robf said:

I would like to think that all right minded fans would condemn the actions of those implicated (and yes, if fans want to sweep the events under the carpet that's awful)

Have a look on twitter. Crewe fans by and large are more interested in attacking Daniel Taylor and deflecting/spin. 

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7 hours ago, mr.hobblesworth said:

No offence Phil1965 but your club behaved shamefully. Their negligence enabled the abuse of children and I hope that they're taken to the cleaners for it. If this had happened at Vale I'd struggle to go through the turnstiles ever again. I despise Crewe for this.

Sick,sick reading for decent teams.Disgraceful that one person is still treated like a god in South Cheshire, instead of being despised.He knew what was going on!!!!!

Edited by ELDERBEZZA
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Gradi, then the first-team manager, had modified his own house to accommodate boys. Indeed, he needed a people carrier to ferry them all around and, although this is far from an easy subject to address, it has been made clear to the people leading this case why so much innuendo and suspicion has followed him throughout his professional life. “You’d always see him with his arm around a blond boy,” one former Crewe academy player has told the inquiry. “He used to prefer blond boys. He had dressing gowns with the [boys’] initials on. He had a [swimming] pool that was built so it was a certain level for young boys to play in.” Gradi used to take boys on holidays and, it is claimed, had to be talked out of resigning after one game because of some pointed barracking from a number of Crewe fans behind his dugout.

Perfectly normal behaviour

Quote

Dario Gradi showed a schoolboy footballer a pornographic movie at his home, then invited him on a skiing holiday, according to a statement given to a safeguarding officer at the FA this week.

 

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2 hours ago, mbycars said:

Crewe knew exactly what was going on and still refuse to acknowledge or apologise.

One of the directors, father of ex Crewe MP Laura Hamilton, brought it up in a meeting but it was swept under the carpet with no investigation. A previous neighbor of mine who's son came through their youth system , told me of his worries as his son was staying weekend nights at the managers home.

Exactly right Dario Gradi and the board at Crewe knew what was going on, and it did not stop at Bennell. The reaction of Crewe Alex and their supporters is shameful. No remorse no apology, absolutely disgusting 

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Problem is that Bennell's claims are uncorroborated claims from a 2003 case and he has refused to assist with this enquiry. No action is going to be taken, and you do have to question the legitimacy of claims by such an evil man.

However, Gradi was also criticised in the Eddie Heath enquiry at Chelsea. There's certainly some questionable findings from this report (with this absolutely horrendous comment) even if it cannot be proven he or Crewe ever knew anything:

1203041375_Screenshot2021-03-17at16_30_00.thumb.png.2210621686fc2dc6bd402ad98d0429f9.png

Edited by Joe B
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57 minutes ago, Doha said:

Have a look on twitter. Crewe fans by and large are more interested in attacking Daniel Taylor and deflecting/spin. 

@Doha since when has Twitter been a barometer for the majority rational viewpoint? :classic_wacko:

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