Manchester City Football Club Launch Child Abuse Compensation Scheme

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Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

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Manchester City Football Club has launched a new redress scheme to award compensation to survivors of historical child sexual abuse, in what’s the first move of its kind in British sport.

To claim compensation, contact our Child Abuse Solicitors for free legal advice. Ask about Legal Aid or if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Child Abuse in Sports

Abuse in sports clubs has been heavily reported in the media following the conviction of former youth football coach Barry Bennell. Bennell, who worked at clubs including Manchester City, Stoke City and Crewe Alexandra, was convicted in February 2018 of 50 offences relating to 12 junior players, aged 8 to 14, between 1979 and 1991.

Prior to Bennell's conviction in 2018, he had previously served three custodial sentences, two in the UK and one in the United States. As a result of the abuse by Barry Bennell, Manchester City launched an independent inquiry which uncovered abuse by John Broome – a talent scout involved with the club from 1964 to 1971, who died in 2010.

“Manchester City FC continues to be restricted as to what it can make public at present for legal reasons. The club reiterates, however, its heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences that they endured. All victims were entitled to expect full protection from the kind of harm they suffered as a result of their sexual abuse as children.” – Manchester City Football Club Spokesperson.

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Reviewing Historical Child Sexual Abuse

Manchester City Football Club has faced accusations of missing opportunities to prevent and stop the abuse at the hands of Barry Bennell throughout his time at the Club. Bennell was linked to the Club for several years, during which there were claims of child abuse.

In 2016, there was an investigation into how Manchester City Football Club was used by Barry Bennell to help facilitate the sexual abuse of children. The review also looked to uncover any evidence that the club had been used to facilitate child sexual abuse by any individual.

As part of the investigation, there was also a review of the club’s safeguarding procedures to make sure that the current and any future policies adhere to global best practices.

During this review process, Manchester City Football Club set up a Redress Scheme, to provide compensation to  survivors of abuse by Barry Bennell.

What is a Redress Scheme?

Redress Schemes are a different way of seeking compensation and can be a way of obtaining an apology and acknowledgement for what happened. 

Schemes have been usually set when there have been a large number of victims who have come forward alleging abuse by the same individual or different individuals in the same setting, such as a football club or a Church. The Schemes are usually designed as a way for the organisation to acknowledge their failures to safeguard the individuals affected.

What will the Redress Scheme Look Like?

Manchester City’s review is ongoing and full details of the redress scheme have yet to be published. However, it’s likely that the scheme will offer compensation and an apology to players sexually abused during their time in Manchester City’s youth team.

It is the duty of the owner of the sports club to ensure that the staff they employ are suitable to work with children. When a person has used their position to abuse children, a claim may be brought against the organisation that employed that individual through the Civil Courts.

A number of former players have been pursuing claims through the Court against Manchester City, and this new scheme will offer an alternative route for survivors to pursue claims against the club.

It’s thought that the compensation scheme will "provide a speedier, cheaper and more predictable means of compensation", and it’s also been reported that it will offer payments on a tariff "two-tier system taking into account the range of offences, the length of the abuse and its effect on the victims".

The club also contributed to the legal costs to ensure that abuse survivors didn’t have to make contributions from their own compensation.

What You Can Claim For

Redress Schemes offer compensation to anyone who is eligible  to make aclaim under the Scheme. Every Scheme will operate differently, but you can expect to find either a tariff-based approach or a fixed fee amount.

Some Redress Schemes will look to help with the  cost of counselling to help survivors rebuild their life.

Eligibility for a Claim

Young players who experienced abuse by Barry Bennell between August 1976 and November 1979 and between August 1981 and December 1984 will be eligible to make a claim of compensation through the Redress Scheme.

The Scheme also allows young players who experienced abuse by John Broome between August 1964 and May 1971 to file a claim.

What Happens After Your Claim

Once you have completed your application to the Redress Scheme, the organisation will consider the details and evidence you provided to support your claim. You may be asked toprovide medical reports, witness statements, or other evidence,depending on your case.

When your case has been reviewed, you may receive an offer of compensation. It is then up to you whether you would like to accept the offer or reject it. If you disagree with the offer, some Redress Schemes have an appeals process which you may wish to consider.

It’s important to seek legal advice first before appealing the offer, as your solicitor can provide advice on whether the offer is reasonable. If they feel that you are entitled to more and that it’s likely you could get more compensation, they will explain this to you and the next steps.

Why Redress Schemes May be Better than Civil Claims

Civil Claims can often be a long-drawn-out process with many barriers that can be difficult to navigate. 

The eligibility process of a Redress Scheme has been simplified, as it recognises how difficult it is to come forward and speak up about abuse. While you will have to show evidence to back up your claim, this is usually more straightforward than a Civil Claim.

A Positive Step for Abuse Survivors

The Judge who sentenced Bennell in his sentencing remarks said that he was aware that no sentence  could begin to redress the harm and damage which he caused to his victims. Any compensation scheme will also be unable to fully redress the harm and damage caused to those who were victims of abuse by Bennell and Broome.

The introduction of the redress scheme by Manchester City is a positive step and one that will be welcomed by survivors. It’s anticipated that the scheme will put survivors first and introduce a quicker and more efficient process than making a claim through the Civil Courts.

It can only be hoped that other sports clubs where abuse has taken place will follow the lead of Manchester City and introduce similar redress schemes to compensate abuse survivors.

A number of the players involved in Bennell’s case waived their right to anonymity and set up The Offside Trust - an organisation committed to supporting survivors and working to make sport safe for children. The Offside Trust not only focuses on football, but all sports to work with and support fellow survivors.

The disclosure of abuse by former footballers has highlighted the failures of other sports clubs with a duty of care to children. Our Child Abuse Solicitors have helped many survivors who were abused in a number of different sports including swimming, karate, athletics and rugby. If you would like more information about making a claim for compensation, please get in touch with our Child Abuse Solicitors.

Claiming Compensation for Child Abuse

Here at Simpson Millar, we are experienced in representing people who have suffered abuse in sports. 

Contact one of our Abuse Solicitors today to discuss your case and how we may be able to help. Our friendly and compassionate team of advisors will explain the options that are available to you, as well as offer any additional support that you may need.


Ducker, J. (2019). Manchester City launch child sexual abuse compensation scheme for Barry Bennell’s victims. The Telegraph. [online] 12 Mar. Available at:

MCFCEditorial. (2021). Statement from Manchester City FC Board of Directors. [online]. Available at:

Man City launch abuse victim payment fund. (n.d.). BBC Sport. [online] Available at:

Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Nathalie began her legal career in 2009 after completing her law degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008. She has specialised in abuse claims since 2010, and went on to qualify as a Solicitor in 2013.

Following her qualification Nathalie specialised in a range of personal injury claims including abuse claims and criminal injury claims. She has acted for clients who have suffered life-changing injuries such as brain injuries.

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