Manchester City are facing a potential compensation payout which could run into millions to a former youth team player who alleges he was abused by a team scout, according to reports.
The claims from the alleged victim emerged several weeks ago, before several other former footballers came forward with allegations of sexual assault in the sport. The claimant says his career was ruined by the abuse he suffered in the 1980s and is seeking loss of earning from one of the richest clubs on the planet.
Manchester City have instructed solicitors to look into the allegations and are said to be attempting to establish the facts, reported The Times.
The claims emerge as furthe allegations have come out against Chelsea following reports they made a secret payment to an alleged victim who was due to come forward with allegations of abuse against their former chief scout Eddie Heath.
The "hush money" was reported to have been made within the past three years on the basis that the victim, his family and their lawyers would not be allowed to publicly talk about the alleged abuse. The former youth player is also said to have gone forward with the allegations to police, although it is not known what action was taken as Heath is believed to have been dead.
Chelsea could face serious action if they are found to have committed wrongdoing for failing to notify the Football Association and Premier League of any alleged abuse. The club have already been heavily criticised for allegedly imposing a gagging order preventing the alleged victim from speaking out.
Ian Ackley, one of a number of former footballers who have come forward detailing their abuse at the hands of football staff members, said he was "absolutely staggered" by the idea Chelsea could have imposed a confidentiality clause.
He said: "The notion that a football club would pay somebody that was employed by them or in their care to silence them about what is effectively a crime . . . is just beyond belief. It's staggering. I'm not sure I've got words enough to describe how shocked I am about that."
The details of the case emerged after as the NSPCC said a hotline set up for sexual abuse in football received an "unprecedented" 860 calls in its first week. The number of calls made to the dedicated hotline is three times what was made to the number set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal in its first three days.