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07th Feb 2022

Chelsea agree to pay damages to four former players in racism case

Callum Boyle

Four former players claimed they were the victims of ‘racist bullying’ at Chelsea

Chelsea have agreed to pay damages to four of their former players after they launched civil claims against the club claiming they were the victims of “racist bullying” during the 1990s.

As exclusively revealed by The Athletic, an out-of-court settlement was reached on Monday before a pre-trial hearing was set to take place at the High Court in London following intensive talks between the two parties over the past week.

David McClenaghan, who was representing the claimants said in court on Monday: “We are grateful for the extra time. We are pleased to let you know that a settlement agreement has been achieved between the parties. There is now no need for a pre-trial.”

A five-week trial had been set to take place on March 7 and feature a line-up of 62 witnesses who played or worked at Chelsea in some capacity during the 90s.

Documents from the High Court allege that young, black players were punched, kicked and subjected to other assaults by their own coaches.

One unnamed player claimed that he was punched multiple times by former youth-team coach Graham Rix while also alleging that he was the victim of repeated assaults from Gwyn Williams, the director of youth development at the time.

As explained by The Athletic, Rix was understood to have denied all allegations, while Williams accepted he used racist language but provided evidence to the court to say it wasn’t intended maliciously.

Chelsea meanwhile, as per their insurers’ lawyers, denied vicarious liability despite having previously accepted that there was a racist culture at the club during a public apology back in 2020.

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