Lawyers launch legal claim against Football Association

CITY solicitors have launched a claim against the Football Association over a coach convicted of sex abuse, The News can reveal.

Friday, 2nd December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:40 pm

Verisona Law is in talks with the FA over Daniel Gersh, who the firm said was FA-trained at the time when he abused children at a club.

Charles Derham, head of abuse at the firm, based at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth is representing one of the victims.

The action has not yet reached court but they argue the FA should be responsible for him, who received an FA coaching certificate in 2000.

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The News understands the FA does not admit liability.

He said: ‘It perhaps goes to show the problem – while the FA put in safeguarding, perhaps the monitoring wasn’t up to scratch.

‘The difficulty arises from the FA arrangement is (that they say) “how can we be responsible for every single football coach?”.

‘But when the allegations came to light, the FA intervened and shut the football club down.’

He added: ‘I think in about 2000, the FA put safeguarding individuals in each team. Prior to that it was “carry on and do what you want to do”.

‘They were children, there to be looked after, not there for individuals to prey upon.’

Gersh was handed an indeterminate sentence, according to a report in the Jewish Chronicle in 2007.

The report said police feared he had abused more children at the football club in Essex. It said Detective Inspector Keith Braithwaite said: ‘I do believe there are more children out there that he’s abused.’

Gersh was handed an indeterminate prison sentence in 2007 and warned he would only be eligible for parole after five years but was unlikely to get it.

Meanwhile, 350 victims have come forward to report child sex abuse in football clubs, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said.

Hampshire police is one of the forces investigating.

The NSPCC said it received more than 860 calls to a helpline in the week after it was launched last Wednesday.

The charity made triple the number of referrals to police or children’s services within the first three days than it did for the same period over Jimmy Savile in 2012.