Scottish football club Celtic faces landmark sexual abuse case filed by 25 plaintiffs

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Glasgow Celtic Football Club faces historic sexual abuse complaints from 25 claimants.  (File photo).

Ian MacNicol / Getty Images

Glasgow Celtic Football Club faces historic sexual abuse complaints from 25 claimants. (File photo).

Scottish football giants Celtic are facing class action lawsuits from up to 25 plaintiffs alleging they were sexually assaulted while at Celtic Boys Club.

A Glasgow law firm, Thompsons, is pursuing the class action lawsuit – an avenue introduced into the Scottish legal system only last year – and has placed an ad in a newspaper calling for more plaintiffs to come forward.

Historical allegations of sexual abuse date back to when the plaintiffs were at the Boys’ Club in the 1980s.

“As it stands, the class action will be pursued on behalf of more than 20 plaintiffs,” said Thompsons lawyer Patrick McGuire. BBC Tuesday. “Today we have started the process of raising this class action and what the court rules require is that we first serve a public notice that legal proceedings will be initiated.

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“After speaking to our clients, it is perfectly clear that there are more survivors.”

McGuire said the plaintiffs had “suffered the worst abuse from pedophiles operating in the heart of the Celtic Boys Club”.

He said The daily record that he hoped the class action lawsuit was “a wake-up call for Celtic and they decide to face their responsibilities instead of rubbing salt in the wounds of the survivors.”

Celtic are one of the best supported teams in British football.

Andrew Milligan / AP via AP

Celtic are one of the best supported teams in British football.

Celtic issued a statement, saying that “the club once again express their sincere sympathy, regret and sadness to those concerned and reiterate that they will shoulder their responsibilities, following due process of the law”.

A Guardian report noted that Celtic issued an official apology in 2020 after an independent review “brought to light people who abused children and worked throughout their careers in organizations such as Celtic Boys Club, Celtic, Falkirk, Hamilton, Hibernian, Motherwell, Rangers and Partick Thistle ”.

The daily record noted that four men associated with Celtic Boys Club or Celtic had previously been convicted of historic sexual abuse charges.

Celtic have in the past disassociated themselves from the Celtic Boys Club – which no longer exists – saying it is a stand-alone entity.

Celtic are one of Scotland’s top clubs, having won 51 league titles – nine of which in the past 10 seasons – and 40 Scottish Cup crowns. They were also the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967.

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