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Child Abuse in Football: Independent Inquiry Now

This petition had 78 supporters


We the undersigned acknowledge the courage of those who have come forward to reveal the widespread nature of child abuse in football, and encourage all those with knowledge of abuse in football to come forward.

 We offer our full support to anyone who has suffered child abuse in football, in particular those survivors who have come forward. We call upon the authorities to ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on those found guilty of any crime and The FA to ban any ‘participant’ in the game who is found guilty of child abuse.

 We call upon The FA to ensure that free access to all necessary counselling and support is provided for all survivors.

 We commend The FA for recognising the need for an investigation. However, we believe that it is in the best interests not only of the survivors but also of The FA itself and the wider game for the inquiry to be independent and given effective investigative powers.

 We therefore call upon Parliament immediately to establish a statutory inquiry with a forensic investigation team to identify and deal with those persons and organisations in the game that have failed to report allegations of child sexual abuse of young people to the authorities and so uphold their duty of care.

 We believe the interest of the survivors and children comes first.  We believe that it is in the interests of the survivors and the game of football more widely that an inquiry goes beyond a review of procedures and paperwork. The aim of an inquiry should be to root out abuse and the abusers from our game and bring those who have been involved in cover ups to book.  There should be no hiding place for abusers or cover ups. There must be confidence in the thoroughness of any inquiry.

 The inquiry must therefore:

 · identify and make recommendations regarding those persons and organisations in football that have failed to report allegations of child abuse of young people to the authorities and so uphold their duty of care

· investigate whether the FA in its structures and regulations has sufficient transparency to protect children and young people in the game.

· identify and make recommendations as to any potential weakness in current practice and protocols regarding protecting children and young people.

· Ensure compliance with statutory child protection protocols such as bans from working or volunteering in sports.

· institute and promote a national child abuse awareness week for all UK sports.

· Ensure compliance with national and internal protocols for child protection and that allegations of actual or suspected child abuse are reported to all relevant authorities as defined by the protocols.

· To promote full co-operation with child protection investigations related to the sport.

 David Lean, Football survivor

Teresa Marie Lean, Mental Health Nurse NHS

Steve Walters, Football survivor

Ian Ackley, Football survivor

Andy Woodward, Football survivor

Zelda Worthington

Andy Burnham MP and Greater Manchester Mayoral Candidate

Michael Mansfield QC

Ken Loach, Film Director

Pauline Clare, Former Chief Constable, Lancashire Constabulary

Football Supporters Federation, National Council

The Board of Supporters’ Direct

Ashley Brown, Chief Executive, Supporters Direct

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive, Football Supporters Federation

Brian Burgess, Chair, Supporters Direct

Dr Malcolm Clarke, Chair, Football Supporters Federation

Dave Boyle, former CEO, Supporters Direct

Ruth Stark MBE President, International Federation of Social Workers

Everton: The Blue Union

Liverpool: Liverpool FC Supporters' Committee

Manchester City: Canal Street Blues

Stoke City: Stoke City Supporters' Club (Southern Branch)

Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST)

Watford: The 1881 Movement

Derby County: Rams Trust

Wigan Athletic: All Gone Latics Fanzine

Colchester United: Colchester United Supporters' Association

Swindon Town: Trust STFC - The Swindon Town Supporters Trust

Brentford: Brentford: Independent Association of Supporters (BIAS)

Doncaster Rovers: Vikings Supporters' Co-operative

Aylesbury United: Aylesbury United Supporters' Trust (21CD) Ltd

Blackpool: Blackpool Fans' Progress Group

Coventry City: Sky Blue Trust

MK Dons: Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association (MKDSA)

Leyton Orient: Leyton Orient Supporters' Club

Bury: Forever Bury

Independent fans website: The Supporters' Group

Dave Boyle, former CEO, Supporters Direct

Gary Johansen, Executive Director, City of Liverpool Football Club

Peter Furmedge, Director & Co-founder City of Liverpool Football Club

Andy Walsh, National Game Development Officer, Football Supporters Federation

Vic Sahunta, former FA Safeguarding Trainer

Chris Whight, Football Coach, Coplestonians Tigers u14

Andy Walker, Board Member, Supporters Direct

Richard Knights, Everton Blue Union

Tom Stott, former Board Member, FC United of Manchester

Reverend Robin Pye, former Community & Education Manager, FC United of Manchester

Dr Liz Davies, Emeritus Reader, Child Protection, London Metropolitan University

Marilyn Hawes, CEO & Founder enough ABuseUK

The Reverend Graham Sawyer

Jim Gamble QPM, CEO INEQE Group & Founding CEO, CEOPs

Dr Paul Redgrave, former Director of Public Health.

Julie Selwyn CBE, Professor of Child & Family Social Work, University of Bristol

Brid Featherstone, Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield

Ann Davis, FAcSS Emeritus Professor Social Work & Mental Health, University of Birmingham

Mike Stein, Emeritus Professor, University of York

Richard Scorer, Head of Abuse Law, Slater & Gordon Lawyers

Kim Harrison, Head of Human Rights, Slater & Gordon Lawyers

David Enright, JP Partner Howe & Co Solicitors, Head of Child Abuse Team

Peter Garsden, Head of Abuse Department, Simpson Millar solicitors

Martin Howe, Senior Partner Howe & Co Solicitors

Alison Millar, Leigh Day Solicitors, Partner & Head of Abuse Law Team

Dino Nocivelli, Associate Child Abuse Solicitor, Bolt Burdon Kemp

Sam Stein QC

John Nicholson, Chair, Greater Manchester Law Centre

Carolyne Willow, Director, Article 39

Stuart Syvret, former Senator, Minister for Health & Social Services, Jersey

Alex Wheatle, Author

Richard Murphy, Coordinator, Islington Survivors' Network

Andrea Enisuoh, Former Project Coordinator Show Racism the Red Card (London)

Jeanie Jones, Sports Survivor, Artist

Zelda Lewis, Children's Home Survivor of Gilbert Chambers

Nigel O’Mara, Core Participant, IICSA

Brian Douieb, Core Participant, IICSA, former Social Work Manager

Linda Beavis, Shirley Oaks Survivor

Dr Phil Frampton, SOIA Core Participant, Whiteflowers

Brian A. Mynott MBACP, retired Trauma Therapist, Survivor

Paul Gosling, co-author, Abuse of Trust

Anne Peake, CPsychol, FBPsS. Educational Psychologist

Stephanie Prior, Partner, Osbornes Solicitors

Janet Cragg, Barrister in Family Law, Kenworthy's Chambers

Tracey Emmott, Emmott Snell Solicitors

Robert Lizar, Solicitor

Emily Derrer – Howe & Co Child Abuse Team

Graham Cade – Howe & Co Child Abuse Team

Kieran O’Rourke – (Partner) Howe & Co Child Abuse Team

Neda Kalahroudi - Howe & Co Child Abuse Team

Jonathan Wheeler, Partner, Bolt Burdon Kemp

David McClenaghan, Partner and Solicitor-Advocate, Bolt Burdon Kemp

Nora Duckett, Senior Lecturer Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Anna Gupta, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Royal Holloway University of London

Les Huckfield, former MP and MEP

Dr Rob Crampton

Ken Jones, Education Leadership Consultant

Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool City Councillor

Jayne Bond - Trustee Enough Abuse

Hilary Brown, Ambassador, Enough Abuse UK

Hilary Foster, Regional Consultant, Enough Abuse UK

Clare Sheahan, Child Sex Abuse Campaigner

Viktoria Low, Retired Social Worker & Counsellor

Elizabeth Carty   Retired Social Worker

Teresa Marie Lean, Mental Health Nurse NHS

Gareth Fegan, Fylde Coast YMCA General Manager

Jonas Bartle, Fylde Coast YMCA Women's Project Manager

Heather Rawling NUT personal capacity

Shaaron O'Malley, Qualified Youth Worker

Sarah Randall

Tiyra Slaam

Teresa Mackay, Unite (personal capacity)

Annette Rimmer, Radio Producer

Kate Ramsey

John England

Marie Harrison

Jordan Smyth

Jo Bird, social business advisor

Sara Baxter



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