Chelsea today "apologised profusely" for the sexual abuse Gary Johnson said he suffered at the hands of former club chief scout Eddie Heath during the 1970s, with the club saying they have "no desire to hide any historic abuse" that is uncovered.
Chelsea released a statement on Saturday in which they revealed that Johnson, now aged 57, "suffered unacceptably" during his time at the club, but insisted they treated the allegations made by Johnson in 2014 "very seriously".
Chelsea's apology comes after the former Chelsea player waived his right to anonymity to go public with allegations that he was sexually assaulted by Heath, who worked at the club in the Seventies but died in the Eighties.
Johnson criticised Chelsea in an interview with The Mirror this week, and claimed the club paid him £50,000 and asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement to keep quiet about the incident.
Chelsea confirmed a settlement was negotiated with Johnson, via his lawyers, two years ago and revealed the confidentiality clause inserted in the agreement was recently removed.
The statement released by Chelsea following the club's 3-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday read: "Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has been profoundly shocked by news of historical child sex abuse across British football and our heart goes out to all the victims.
"We pay tribute to the enormous courage of the people who have spoken out about the horrific abuse which they endured, including former Chelsea player Gary Johnson. We recognise that to do so, after carrying the burden of those events for so long, must have been an extremely difficult thing to do.
"Although this abuse took place many decades ago, the last week has also highlighted decisions made more recently in relation to the case of our former player Gary Johnson.
"We are therefore asking the external law firm to review the way we handled Mr Johnson’s case and make recommendations as to how we can improve our procedures in future. We are determined to learn from any mistakes that were made."