Former youth team player Gary Johnson has received an apology from Chelsea FC for the sexual abuse he was subjected to in the 1970s.
The London football club said in a statement that Johnson had "suffered unacceptably while in our employment".
The club added that it had "no desire to hide any historic abuse we uncover from view", adding they were "fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people who are in our care or attending our premises".
The statement read: "Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has been profoundly shocked by news of historical child sex abuse across British football and our heart goes out to all the victims.
"We pay tribute to the enormous courage of the people who have spoken out about the horrific abuse which they endured, including former Chelsea player Gary Johnson.
"We recognise that to do so, after carrying the burden of those events for so long, must have been an extremely difficult thing to do.
"It is clear that Gary Johnson suffered unacceptably while in our employment in the 1970s for which the club apologises profusely."
Chelsea FC said it has employed an external law firm to conduct an investigation into the historical sexual abuse claims.
"If further evidence is uncovered we will ensure that we help victims in any way we can," the club said.
"We certainly have no desire to hide any historic abuse we uncover from view. Quite the opposite.
"Chelsea today is a very different club than it was in the 1970s.
"We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people who are in our care or attending our premises."
Gary Johnson told the Mirror that Chelsea FC had paid him £50,000 to keep secret about the sexual abuse. Johnson, who was part of Chelsea's first team from 1978 to 81, said Eddie Heath groomed him and sexually assaulted from the age of 13.
The club later admitted that the confidentiality clause was "inappropriate".