Bob Higgins: Southampton failed to protect boys in their care, independent review concludes | Football News


Southampton failed to protect the boys in their care despite rumors of a Bob Higgins child abuse scandal, an independent statement concluded.

Higgins was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2019 for raping young soccer players between 1971 and 1996.

A comment by Southampton and made by Barnardo’s sympathetic children confirmed that the club team should be aware of the rumors that Higgins did but did nothing.

“It is our view that, even in the face of this opposition, the board and / or supervisors must have at times heard or been informed of Higgins’ issues and if so, they have failed to act to determine their existence. “he said.

“Otherwise, whether intentionally or indirectly, the club failed to prioritize the safety and health of the boys.”

The report said there was no evidence that the club had tried to find out why the talented player, selected by the Football Association to coach at his national coaching staff, did not want to return to Southampton despite signing a few months ago.

It also said that “it is possible” the group would have been informed of a letter from the FA indicating that questions were being asked about Higgins.

The report concluded that the council “is aware that there are other issues that have caused ‘chaos’ but has not taken any action, leaving the boys at risk and Higgins are free to continue harassing them”.

The report also criticized the group for failing to report to the police who arrested them in 1989.

Instead, the analysis found that it took the board four months to make this decision.

The club also did not inform any of the youngsters involved as to why Higgins was no longer in Southampton, which the comments also found to be a failure in managing the club.

The comment found that it was “good” for the group to “reduce and ignore” Higgins’ main concerns.

“The club failed to take care of the boys and this left them and other boys at risk of being bullied by the Higgins which affected their lives as children and adults alike,” he said.

“The consequences and consequences for Higgins’ cruelty to the children they cared for while working with Southampton Football Club are innumerable. The damage to their physical and mental health as they grow older, their relationships, their families and even theirs.

“It was these people who, in our opinion paid for what seemed to be the hardships of board members who failed to ensure that the young men, in conjunction with the Higgins, were protected as they should have been.

“We do not believe that these people were thinking or doing bad things, and in our minds we do not think only of the welfare of the boys as their responsibility and when Higgins resigned he saw no need to inform anyone about it. which was made against him.

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Southampton said the current committee approved the findings of the investigation and apologized to the victims and survivors.

Southampton said in a statement that the current committee had approved the findings and apologized to the victims and survivors.

“Bob Higgins held the dreams of many young men in his arms,” ​​the club said in a statement.

“He completely rebelled against the faith of the boys and their families. We now know that Higgins had unlimited power at Southampton Football Club and that those in charge did nothing to ensure that there were proper authorities in place to prevent abuse.

“We suspect that there was someone in the group at the time who wanted the abuse to happen. However, similarly, no one in charge took the initiative to find out what was going on, to take action to end the violence. and Higgins.

“Those in charge of the club should be aware of what has happened in the past. We have seen evidence that even when the authorities found out about the atrocities that took place at the time, they seemed to be doing nothing and taking action. in 2016.

“Everyone at the club today is deeply saddened and deeply saddened by the trauma and trauma experienced by the victims and survivors of the atrocities that Bob Higgins experienced over the years.”

To learn more about child abuse, rape, or rape, for you or someone close to you, please see the list of organizations in the Sky’s Viewer Support Page.

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