The BBC has commissioned a new documentary exploring the topic of historical child abuse in football across clubs in Manchester, Newcastle, Crewe and Southampton.
The three-part series, titled Football’s Darkest Secret is directed by BAFTA winner Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough, The Australian Dream); investigating how coaches and scouts used their trusted positions to prey on young footballers.
Much of the abuse occurred over a twenty-year period from the 1970s to 1990s – with most culprits going undetected by the authorities for decades.
Some survivors were ‘shamed into silence’ until 2016 – when former Crewe Alexandra defender Andy Woodward revealed he had suffered abuse at the hands of former football coach Barry Bennell.
The revelation opened the floodgates as hundreds of other footballers came forward with similar claims.
Bennell was one of the most high profile cases – being found guilty of 50 offences and jailed for 31 years – but there have been as many as 300 suspects identified since the scandal came to light.
As many as 340 football clubs have also been implicated.
Football’s Darkest Secret, which was put together over a period of three years, will explore how some survivors continued in the game whereas others walked away entirely.
The documentary features interviews with footballers, police officers, coaches and journalists reflecting on a “dark chapter in English football.”
A BBC synopsis reads: “The series aims to shine a light on the damaging ripple effect caused by child sexual abuse and offers a unique insight into the way it impacts survivors and their families – from that first time the abuse takes place, right through the course of their lives.
“The production follows behind the scenes of several high-profile criminal trials as survivors confront questions around how this abuse was able to continue undetected for so long.
“The results are as painful as they are cathartic.”
United new boy Antony moves into Pogba’s £3 million mansion
22-year-old Brazilian, Antony dos Santos, joined the Red Devils just before the transfer window slammed shut on 1 September and now looks to have moved into former United midfielder Pogba’s luxury home, located just outside of Altrincham.
The property itself was valued at around £2.9m when the Frenchman bought it back in 2017, who went on to build a custom indoor football pitch, a gaming pad as well as numerous other luxury additions, many of which bore his personalised ‘PP’ branding.
Pogba finally left Old Trafford in June after a lengthy saga which spanned several seasons and three managers — four if you count Erik ten Hag, though he was virtually out the door before the Dutchman even arrived.
Anthony did joke that it will take some time to remove/replace all of Pogba’s branded furnishings with his own ‘AS’ initials. I mean, it’s a footballer’s gaff, needless extravagance is pretty much a given.
His contribution in the derby on Sunday might not have been enough to spare United’s blushes, but he’s certainly looked like a player doing his utmost to live up to an £86m price tag, let alone a £3m home.
Piers Morgan calls Erik ten Hag an ‘arrogant deluded twerp’ after ‘disgraceful’ treatment of Ronaldo
Piers Morgan wasted no time in blasting Erik ten Hag following the Manchester derby, dubbing the manager’s treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘disgraceful’.
The 37-year-old striker was left out of Manchester United‘s starting line-up that went on to be hammered 6-3 by Manchester City and wasn’t even brought on despite the Dutch coach making all five substitutions.
Ronaldo fan first and Arsenal fan second, Morgan criticised the United manager’s squad selection and further decision to leave him on the bench in one of the biggest games in the season.
As you can see, not only did he take issue with ten Hag’s claims that he chose to keep Ronaldo out of the six-goal thrashing “out of respect for his big career“, but even he went so far as to label him an “arrogant deluded twerp”. Not like Piers to get Personal…
While the scoreline may have made it look like the red half of the city had some foothold in the game, anyone who watched will know that was far from the case, as those wearing blue went in at half-time already 4-0 up.
Even most United fans couldn’t even make it to half-time.
The 57-year-old broadcaster and journalist went on to say that “the way [ten Hag’s] treating Ronaldo is disgraceful”, with many also questioning why newly signed and experienced Casemiro was left out of the starting 11.
On the other hand, some fans branded the footballing veteran’s behaviour as ‘childish’ and questioned his conduct over the course of the last few months:
The Portuguese star has played just 207 minutes in this year’s Premier League campaign and has just one goal so far: a penalty which came in a Europa League game against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol.
The derby day mauling saw United’s run of four wins brought to an end and the team pick up their third loss of the season. They now sit in sixth place though still with a game in hand on those in the top three.