Celtic FC have 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.
The statement was made just hours before Channel 4’s investigation into football “paedophile rings” is set to air on TV.
The club said the statement was “in light of recent speculation and to avoid any confusion”.
The statement read: “The club is very sorry that these events took place. The abuse of young people is an abhorrent crime. Unfortunately it has affected many areas of society.”
The club reiterated its position as a separate organisation to the boys’ club but added it took allegations of historic abuse “extremely seriously”.
The statement continued: “With regard to the allegations regarding historic abuse at Celtic Boys’ Club (which, so far as we have been made aware, relate to the period prior to 1997), although Celtic Football Club is a separate organisation, we take these extremely seriously because of the historic contacts between the two organisations. Police investigations were given support, so as to seek to ensure that those individuals who abused young people were brought to justice.
“The club has been at the leading edge in Scottish football of putting welfare and safeguarding protections in place for our young people and continues to work with Scottish football to make it a safe place for young people.
“These are very sensitive matters. There are ongoing legal proceedings which prevent us from discussing any case in any detail. It would not be appropriate for the Club to comment in the media about any individuals or events.
“In summary, these are historic issues, which the club is dealing with in a responsible manner and in conjunction with its advisers.
“The club reiterates its sincere sympathy, regret and sorrow for those affected. As we have said repeatedly, the club will stand by its responsibilities, respecting the due process of law.”