Man Utd co-operating with sexual abuse investigation into former kit man

November 1 – Manchester United have said they are “cooperating fully” with a review into historical sex abuse by the English FA after allegations against former club employee Billy Watts, who died in 2009. 

Watts worked as a caretaker, kit man and groundsman at United’s old training ground, The Cliff, during the 1980s, but was the subject of internal disciplinary action in 1989. As a consequence, he was moved to a new role that took him away from The Cliff, where the club’s junior and senior teams trained.

US outlet The Athletic first reported the allegations of sexual abuse by former players and that Watts was redeployed after the internal investigation at the club.

“We have cooperated fully with the Sheldon Review (set up in 2016 to look into allegations of sexual abuse) in an effort to make sure we were as comprehensive on this important matter as we could be,” said a United spokesperson. “This involved conducting multiple interviews as part of our wide-ranging enquiries pursuant to the review.

“These included a former employee who had conducted the disciplinary process against the former caretaker in the 1980s and other current and former employees who worked at the club in the 70s and 80s. All interviewees provided their full cooperation and information relating to the former caretaker has been included in United’s submissions to the review.”

“Identifying facts from historical allegations is never an easy process and their report will include any issues relating to United that are considered relevant by the review team.”

The specific nature of the complaint has not been made clear.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1573822714labto1573822714ofdlr1573822714owedi1573822714sni@o1573822714fni1573822714