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Southampton to post review of historic club abuse this week

outhampton has confirmed that he will publish the independent review of abuse by former coach Bob Higgins this week.

Two years ago, the club commissioned Barnardo’s children’s charity to conduct a review, which is now complete and will be released to the public on Friday morning.

Higgins was jailed for 24 years in 2019 for mistreating interns in his care, mainly in Southampton and Peterborough, between 1971 and 1996.

Higgins, who was found to have abused 24 boys over a 25-year span, coached Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier, the latter stating in 2016 that he was not assaulted but had already received a “very, very bad” massage.

After Higgins’ conviction, the club offered a wholehearted apology to all victims and survivors of the abuse.

The Sheldon Review of Historical Abuse in Football, which was published earlier this year, criticized Southampton for failing to heed warnings about Higgins’ behavior.

Sheldon also found that they were slow to report an allegation of abuse to the police or to conduct further investigations at the time to establish if other boys may have been victims.

Bob Higgins interviewed by Hampshire Police

/ Hampshire Police / AP

Southampton said victims and survivors will have time to “fully digest” the findings of the review and will receive an advanced copy within the next 24 hours.

In a statement, the South Coast club added: “With that in mind, the club intend to post the full review at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 26. The club’s response to the review will also be posted at that time.”


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