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Celtic FC and the Penn State Scandal

When the Penn State scandal recently hit the headlines in the USA, it disgusted sports fans all over the world.

It goes without saying that the crimes themselves were disgusting, but what perhaps caused the most revulsion stateside was the fact that officials of the Penn State team were complicit in a cover up for over ten years, thereby allowing the abuser opportunity to sexually abuse more victims. By their inaction, they allowed Sandisky undeserved freedom, and subjected more children to an eternity of the most disgusting sordid memories. Those who covered the crimes up are therefor indirectly complicit in children being abused.

The scandal is well documented here:

The action of the NCAA was decisive.

For the time period Penn State covered up the scandal they were stripped of every win.

They therefor lost 10 titles and were fined $60M.

It’s no more a punishment than they deserved.

When Celtic FC had their own abuse scandal it was also covered up. Transcripts from newspaper reports:

What punishment did Celtic get?

The SFA, having now been shown
how been shown how to morally manage their sport with integrity, have to take action and strip Celtic of every game won while covering for a child abuser.

Sadly, in Scotland, the cover up is perpetuated to this day by Celtic supporters, who try to silence anyone who raises the issue with a host of ready made insults, threats and lies.

“It’s cheap and distasteful point scoring”

No it’s not. Your attempts to get silence on the subject are distasteful, and sick.

“The victims shouldn’t have to relive this again”

What you mean is you shouldn’t be reminded of the sordid history if your club again. The victims deserve true justice and closure.

Don’t pretend you are thinking of the victims. It’s an insult to them for you to do this.

Only dealing with the remaining issues will do this.

Transcripts below:


Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 11/13/1998

FOR MORE than 30 years the shadow of sexual abuse has hung over Celtic Football Club.

From the boardroom to the dressing room, it was murmured that Celtic Boys’ Club boss Jim Torbett was molesting young stars.
To a man, the Celtic board did nothing to expose the pervert and the dreadful scandal.

Only when Fergus McCann took over as chief executive and started his own investigation was the secrecy broken.
If ever a story had been hushed up it was this one.

The shameful silence only helped the man who preyed on the teenage hopefuls, knowing they would be too afraid to reveal the truth……..

It was a call to Celtic Park by one of them (the victims) that led McCann to conduct his own investigation.

He was the only Celtic boss ever to take positive action on the matter……… Our special phone line was jammed with calls backing up the claims of Brazil, McCluskey and Gordon. Some of the calls were harrowing – men now in their 30s sobbed as they spoke for the first time of the abuse……… Record team Anna Smith, Iain Ferguson and Charles Beaton were given a Reporter of the Year Award for uncovering the scandal……… Torbett only met justice because a handful of courageous men came forward. John McCluskey said: “He ruined my life. And for every victim who came forward there are five more who still can’t bear to tell their secret.”

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 11/13/1998

HUGH Birt’s 25-year crusade has been to unmask perverts like Jim Torbett.

Today, 12 years after he quit as chairman of Celtic Boys’ Club over the sex abuse cover- up, Hugh is still angry. He is convinced that there are dozens of other Torbett victims suffering in silence. At his home in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, Hugh, 65, spoke of Torbett’s “frightening” power over the youngsters.
He said: “He could make dreams come true – or destroy them………

……..Hugh was made chairman of Celtic Boys’ Club after Celtic FC manager Jock Stein kicked out Torbett amid complaints of abuse.
He said: “Jock said to me to keep its name clean.” ……….

………As more parents complained to Hugh about sex abuse, he informed Celtic vice- chairman Kevin Kelly, on advice from Jock Stein.
He said Kelly, who had just been given a plum job at Torbett’s Trophy Centre, promised to investigate and the claims were reported to the Boys’ Club committee.

But minutes from that meeting have vanished. Hugh claims he finally quit after a row with Kelly over the abuse claims.


JOCK Stein, the late manager of Celtic and Scotland, and his board covered up allegations that the founder of Celtic Boys’ Club sexually abused young players, a court heard yesterday.

Giving evidence at the trial of James Torbett, Hugh Birt, a former chairman of the boys’ club, said that Stein had kicked the defendant out when rumours began to circulate.

Mr Birt said: “Stein literally put his foot up his backside.”

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Mr Birt took over as chairman of the boys’ club in 1973 and was told by Stein, who steered Celtic to European Cup victory in 1967, that Celtic’s image must be maintained.

The cover-up emerged during the evidence of Mr Hugh Birt, 61, the club’s photographer who resigned as president of the Boys’ Club in 1986. Mr Birt claimed that, after he became president in 1974, Celtic legend Jock Stein told him he had kicked Torbett out the door. He said the matter was all ”covered up” by Celtic as to why Torbett was put out.

Mr Birt said that when Torbett returned to the boys club a few years later as a fund raiser the allegations about him started up again. He claimed he took them to Mr Stein, and told Celtic vice chairman Kevin Kelly about them but nothing was ever done. Mr Birt said when he became president of the Celtic Boys’ Club in 1974 the first thing Mr Stein said to him was to ”keep the image of Celtic clean”.


Jock Stein covered up sex claims to protect his Celtic; Trial told of order from manager.

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 11/7/1998; McILWRAITH, GORDON

JOCK Stein and the Celtic board covered up allegations made against Boys’ Club founder Jim Torbett……. Torbett, who is now accused of abusing three boys while he was at the club, was literally kicked out of Parkhead by Stein, a court heard. But when the claims subsequently surfaced, Celtic manager Stein and the directors were anxious to keep the image of the club clean and nothing more was done about them…….

He said he was asked to be chairman when Torbett was “put out” of the Boys’ Club. Asked who got rid of him, Mr Birt said: “According to Mr Stein, he literally put his foot up his backside and kicked him out. It was all covered up by Celtic as to why.”……..

He (Birt) told how he took the allegations against Torbett to the Celtic board and Stein and even told the then vice-chairman, Kevin Kelly, about them at a meeting in his car. He said: “Although there were people who spoke to me I couldn’t go to the police without actual proof of the allegations. When I joined as chairman, I was told by Jock Stein to keep the name of Celtic Football Club clean at all times.”


Pervert preyed on Celtic Boys

Daily Record 12/08/1996

Anna Smith Charles Beaton and Iain Ferguson

Pervert football boss Jim Torbett terrorised a generation of young Celtic players. The trusted team chief lured innocent lads with promises of the big time. Then the Celtic Boys’ Club supremo molested the babes who idolised him…….

……..Sex abuse allegations have haunted Celtic Boys’ Club for almost a quarter of a century. A Record investigation has revealed Celtic’s board knew about the rumours 20 years ago.


Wall of silence was his licence to abuse

Daily Record 12/08/1996

The finger of suspicion was pointed at Torbett as long ago as the early 1970s. There were whispers that he molested 13 and 14-year-old players in his care. But the victims were too ashamed to admit they had been violated by someone they believed in, so they suffered in silence.

The Celtic board were aware of the rumours about Torbett, who was general manager of the boys’ club.
But only one man took him on. Jock Stein, who saw the youngsters as the lifeblood of the club, gave him his marching orders……..

……….But, when Birt raised the matter 10 years ago, he was forced to resign.
He said at the time: “It appears the Celtic board want to look in the other direction in the hope the trouble will go away.”………….

…………….Birt raised the claims with then Celtic vice-chairman Kevin Kelly, who passed the issue to manager David Hay.

But later Kelly, along with Torbett and boys’ club general manager Frank Cairney, asked Birt to resign. When he refused, Celtic withdrew his ticket to the directors’ box and he had no option but to get out. Torbett later invited Kelly to become a director of the Trophy Centre


Celtic Scandal Case Blog

This blog will detail the sordid scandal of abuse at Celtic boys club, and the 20 year cover up by Directors and Officials at Celtic FC itself.
The purpose is simple.
This sordid episode in Celtic’s history is swept under the carpet to this day.

In the wake of the Penn State Scandal, it is even more appropriate that this issue is addressed