"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
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- William Struth

No Respect, No Integrity, Westminster Must Intervene

Written by: Drew Headmuir
Wednesday, 5th June 2019

For many years, some within the Rangers support had a grudging respect for Peter Lawwell, from the point of view they wished we had someone like him in our corner, fighting for our club with ruthlessness and zero scruples. Oh, how wrong they were.

The buck stops with him for everything at that club, and he has to own the various club statements regarding the historic child abuse cases at the club over 30 years.

Understandably, there is a lot of noise around this subject, but we should be clear that most people understand that Paedophiles can infiltrate organisations and win the confidence of senior people in these organisations, in order to carry out their heinous crimes.

It’s happened to countless organisations, so the true measure of an organisation is not if it happened to them, it’s in how they treated complaints, and how they restructured their organisations to make every effort to avoid abuse reoccurring.

The full extent of what happened at Celtic, in terms of those prosecuted and found guilty is of course on record, as are the back issues of the Celtic View detailing the nature of the relationship between the parent football club and the boys club.

What compounds an already disgusting situation, and where most critics of Celtic have been focused, since the original Prosecution of Jim Torbett, has been the statements reported from court by the Daily Record, and in the original award winning investigations in the very same newspaper.

The Record reported that Jock Stein, while club manager, learned of allegations against Jim Torbett and kicked him out of the club, with the key point being that the Police were not contacted.

Furthermore, when allegations surfaced of abuse on a Celtic Boys Club trip to the US, the Record reported that Celtic Football Club officials met the parents of the alleged victim, swore them to secrecy and once again failed to contact police.

What sticks in the gullet, as some of the archive reports are finding their way on to social media, along with new reports from archive Celtic FC publications lauding the boys club, is the sheer ignorance of both the victims, and the risk of reoffending of individuals such as Torbett and Cairney, who were both re-employed by the football club by the same board of Directors.

It’s the revelations that former Celtic board members were in the employ of Torbett, and that the club paid Torbett’s company AFTER he had been convicted of abuse the first time around, while those Celtic Directors at Torbett’s business did not resign even after he had been convicted that rings alarm bells.

With victims talking of Celtic boys’ club visits to Barry Bennell’s teams, who visited Scotland to play Celtic, and visits to Celtic Park by Jimmy Savile, it goes without saying that this requires further investigation.

Given the links between all of those convicted, their cases cannot be treated in isolation from each other.

As with many of these types of cases, many victims stay silent and it’s this silence that the predators rely on. Other victims need confidence that they can come forward, that they will be treated with respect, and that the Government will fight for their right to be heard, and that justice will be done for them.

Anything else would be a dereliction of duty.

Throughout this process, Celtic FC have had ample opportunity to show real leadership and lead from the front in tackling the issue.

Instead, like their predecessors in the boardroom, Peter Lawwell and his board have attempted time and time again to slither away from their responsibilities.

From using the media to try to shut down supporters of other teams calling out their child abusers, calling such songs sectarian, to using the separate entity line on several occasions, to the avoidance of the word sorry, to insulting one victim by asking him to prove he played for the boys club, to the claim that they have been undertaking an internal investigation at the behest of their insurers, to Celtic Boys Club receiving a mysterious payment to change their name to St Patricks,  the current board under Lawwell’s watch have been guilty of failing these victims in the most insulting manner.

Furthermore, as more and more of the mainstream media have realised this is a step too far, a mysterious leak of team plans to the press via Social Media has occurred, followed by full on speculation of various players to Celtic Park not on that leak list.

It’s a shambles, and while a pathetic excuse for a journalist like Neil Cameron tries his best to excuse Lawwell from the decision making at Celtic Park over the whole period of abuse, despite the slithering of the last 12 months, it’s clear that Celtic FC are the last organisation that can own any investigation.

Defendants don’t investigate themselves.

The inaction of Celtic, the SFA, the SPL and the Scottish Government is reprehensible, and it’s time the UK Government stepped in with a full public enquiry exploring the links between the convicts, between them and people like Bennell and Savile, the allegations of Non Disclosure agreements, the payments to The Trophy Centre, and all those who turned a blind eye, or pro-actively took steps to keep matters quiet.

Any and all payments alleged to have been made need to be thoroughly investigated. If anyone authorised payments who are they and if cheques were signed, who by?

I suspect the above is the tip of the iceberg, so the Government needs to step in. Those who enabled and facilitated these attacks need to be punished.


by Philip Joseph Gerard White
by Philip Joseph Gerard White


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