It has been reported that Aston Villa and Leicester City have settled sexual abuse claims concerning five victims of a football scout, Ted Langford, who worked as a part-time football scout in the Midlands in the 1970s and 1980s.
It is understood that the settlements were reached just a matter of weeks before the matters were due to be heard by the High Court.
Mr Langford was convicted and jailed in 2007 for the sexual abuse of four other young boys during this period. His position as a football scout involved identifying promising young players for Aston Villa and Leicester City. He died in 2012.
The settlements, for undisclosed amounts, were reached in January 2020. Both clubs have said that the claims, settled by their respective insurers, were on terms ‘acceptable to all parties’ and without admissions of liability.
Whilst both clubs have issued statements expressing their deepest sympathies with all victims of abuse, there has been criticism for their perceived failure to accept responsibility for the abuse and also their apparent failure to provide a formal apology to the claimants and to Mr Langford’s other victims.
This is the latest in a line of high profile football abuse cases. In December 2016, the Football Association set up an independent Inquiry, chaired by Clive Sheldon QC, to investigate historical sexual abuse in football between 1970 and 2005. The Inquiry’s final report remains awaited, having been put on hold as a result of ongoing criminal investigations.
Lauren Donnison, Paralegal, BLM