Scottish football clubs are facing decades of legal and court bills over abuse and alleged abuse against children – with some individual claims hitting the £1million mark.
The Daily Record can reveal the total amount of compensation payouts could top £12million.
The claims cover 50 cases from just one legal firm, which described it as a “substantial financial reckoning”.
Actions are being raised against a string of clubs, some already facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus emergency.
celtic face one claim of £1million relating to the abuse of a boy at the hands of celtic Boys' Club founder Jim Torbett (pictured) (Image: Daily Record)
But sources close to victims have told the Record: “The lawyers are not going away. Justice has to be done.”
We can reveal that 21 of the cases are against celtic FC, which claims it is a “separate entity” from its now-defunct boys’ club – where four paedophiles from the organisation have now been convicted.
Other cases raised include four against Rangers FC and one against Rangers FC/Rangers Boys’ Club.
These actions involve one coach and one scout, who both also worked at other clubs.
They were never convicted and are now dead.
Individual claims range from tens of thousands to £1million.
Three actions are also being pursued against the Scottish Football Association.
Partick Thistle, Dundee United and Hibernian/Hibernian Boys’ Club also face compensation claims from people who claim they were sexually abused while child players.
Also on the list are a string of junior and amateur clubs.
The SFA – which has launched an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children scandal – is facing three separate compensation claims from people who say they were abused by a referee.
celtic FC face at least one claim of £1million.
This relates to a boy – now an adult – who has previously told the Daily Record that he was abused while a player with celtic Boys’ Club and celtic FC.
As a young player, he was earmarked for stardom but his abuse at the hands of celtic Boys’ Club founder, Jim Torbett, put paid to his future career, lawyers claim.
The 50 cases are from Glasgow-based Thompsons Solicitors.
A source said: “Many of these claims are at the higher end of the scale because they take into account loss of future earnings.
“Lawyers will make a strong case to show that some boys were not just robbed of their innocence but were also robbed of their football careers.
“The very reason they played for these high-profile clubs shows the promise they had as future pro players.
“But of course, due to the exploitation and abuse, these life chances were ripped away from them.
“Other claims will focus on the psychological and physical trauma suffered by victims.
“They are all due compensation for the suffering they went through.
“These football clubs and other organisations had a clear duty of care over these children.
“In some cases, it was non-existent; in others, it was ignored.
“When you see the salaries and transfer fees of some players, are we really to believe that Scottish football clubs cannot afford some degree of compensation to these victims?
“If so, that would be a whole new scandal.
50 individual claims have been levelled at SPFL, junior and amateur clubs in Scotland
“The lawyers are not going away. Justice has to be done.”
Last May, the Record revealed that celtic FC had investigated and cleared its boys’ club leaders in 1986.
Our findings are at odds with the club’s claim that allegations first came to light in the 90s, and that they were “separate entities”.
Victims such as Gordon Woods, now 65, have bravely spoken of their abuse ordeal in the Daily Record.
Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Despite the current lockdown due to coronavirus, the wheels of justice still turn and my team of lawyers, working fully from home, continue to progress our football abuse cases as well as all others.
“The whole of Scottish football does face a substantial financial reckoning for the years of sexual and physical abuse against children.
“But that is, of course, nothing compared to what it has cost our clients who have suffered years of torment as a result of the crimes committed against them.”