Scandal swells

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LONDON — Two more big clubs have been implicated in the escalating child sex abuse scandal that has rocked English football.

According to Gordon Taylor, chief executive officer of the Professional Footballers’ Association, the clubs are former Premier League regulars Leeds and Blackpool. This follows earlier revelations of abuse at Crewe, Manchester City, Stoke and Newcastle, with more than 20 former players alleging they were victims.

Blackpool say they have not received information from the authorities but will “provide every assistance” if necessary. Sources at Leeds told Sky Sports they only found out about the allegations after Taylor’s interview, but take it “extremely seriously”.

The Football Association have launched an independent investigation and vowed to determine how a suspected paedophile ring was allowed to prey on youth players. It acknowledged it could lead to a full-scale inquiry.

The FA have already appointed senior lawyer Kate Gallafent to assist with the review into allegations starting in 1970s. The internal review will look into what information the FA and clubs were aware of at the relevant times, and what action was or should have been taken.

Crewe are investigating how the club dealt with the allegations. The Metropolitan, Hampshire and Cheshire police are investigating complaints within the football world.

Northumbria police are investigating an allegation from a former Newcastle player he was abused in the youth system.

Damian Collins, Folkestone and Hythe MP, told Daily Mail the clubs and the FA could face compensation payouts in the millions if found negligent.

Clubs have a duty of care to the players — if they’ve failed, there should be compensation, absolutely. If a player had reported to the FA and they did not investigate, they too must be culpable. — Agencies