Celtic FC faces group legal action over historical sex abuse

Survivors of historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club join together to lauch group legal action against Celtic FC.

Celtic FC faces group legal action over historical sex abuse PA Media

Survivors of historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club are joining together to launch a group legal action against Celtic FC.

Around 25 abuse survivors are being represented by legal firm Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, which is using new powers that came into law last year to bring the proceedings.

It placed a notice in the Daily Record newspaper on Tuesday stating it intends to ask the Court of Session to make an order granting permission for group proceedings to be brought by or on behalf of various clients against Celtic Plc, and calling for other people who want to part of the proceedings and make a claim to contact them.

Group proceedings were only brought in to Scots law last year. The new powers allow two or more people with claims that are the same, similar, or related to raise proceedings in a single action in court.

Patrick McGuire, partner with Thompsons, said: “This is completely unique. I know of no other group actions, or involving such a large number of claimants, against any other club in Europe.”

He added: “This case will be about whether Celtic FC are legally responsible for abuse that took place at the boys club.

“Group proceedings are a very new part of the Scottish system, introduced by an Act of Parliament, and we’ve looked at the rules and taken the view they’re our most appropriate vehicle.”

A number of senior figures at the boys club, which was not formally affiliated with Celtic FC, have been jailed for sex abuse.

The club has previously said that it is “appalled by any form of historic abuse”.

The latest legal action comes after Thompsons last year launched two “test cases” at the Court of Session brought against Celtic by victims.

Mr McGuire said the question of perhaps including the test cases in the group action was “actively under review”.

Celtic FC has been asked for comment.

The club has always maintained it was separate from the Boys Club, which no longer exists.

Last year, Celtic FC released a statement in relation to historic abuse at the club and Celtic Boys’ Club – saying it is “very sorry” that the events took place.

The club said it was “appalled by any form of historic abuse” and had “great sympathy” for the victims.