Crewe excluded from regional awards for handling of Barry Bennell scandal

first_imgCrewe have not commented since releasing a statement eight days ago claiming there was no need to hold an independent inquiry because the police had already carried out a criminal investigation into Bennell’s time at Gresty Road. Manchester City, in stark contrast, have spent over a year on their own inquiry, as another of the clubs where Bennell abused boys.Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the PFA, has also urged the Crewe chairman, John Bowler, to think of the victims and revert to the club’s initial plan. “Manchester City are going about it in the correct manner with a full independent investigation and, as Crewe are so much a part of it, it not helpful that they have reached this decision, either for Crewe or the lads who were there,” Taylor said.“It needs a full independent inquiry to make sure the reasons are known why it was allowed to go on. They owe that duty of care to all those players who have been in court in horrific circumstances. After all the courage it has taken for them to come out, to go through a court process and go public, it is the least that is owed to them.” The club’s decision to abandon plans for an independent investigation, having pledged in November 2016 that one would be held “at the earliest opportunity,” will be on the agenda when Crewe council meets on Tuesday. The Professional Footballers’ Association intends to raise the matter with the Football League and the dismay felt by many people within the sport is exemplified by the decision to remove Crewe from the Northwest Football Awards out of respect to the boys who were abused in the club’s junior system during the 1980s and 1990s.Laura Wolfe, speaking on behalf of the event, said Crewe could not be involved in an event celebrating football in the region if the club were unwilling to look properly into the failings that led to Bennell, now starting a 30-year prison sentence, preying on boys during seven years as youth-team coach.“We feel strongly that the club owes it to the survivors, to their fans and the world of football as a whole, to finally be honest about the past, face up to the fact that people in the club must have been aware that all was not well, admit that mistakes were made and more should have been done to protect these young players, and finally do the right thing,” Wolfe said. “We believe this is the only opportunity the club has to begin to rebuild their future and move on from this. For that reason, Crewe Alexandra will not be included in the Northwest Football Awards.”Laura Smith, the Crewe MP, has already called for the club to rethink their decision and the Observer’s information is the council will pass a motion to “question the reasonableness” of promising an inquiry but not going through with it. Bennell’s victims, the motion says, were “entitled to expect full protection from abuse and should expect a complete and thorough explanation of how that protection was not provided”. Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Barry Bennell Read more Share on Pinterest Share via Email Topics Barry Bennell branded ‘sheer evil’ as he is sentenced to 30 years Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent direct to youcenter_img Crewe Alexandra are to be banished from the Northwest Football Awards because of their handling of the Barry Bennell sex-abuse scandal and are facing the embarrassment of a motion being passed against the club by their own town council, the Observer can reveal. Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter The Observer news Share on Facebook Crewe Alexandra Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more