Premier Leagueclubs have faced criticism for retaining two players and a coach despite their knowledge of ongoing police investigations into allegations of sexual or domestic violence.
Victims, disclosing their experiences to the BBC, accused the Football Association (FA) and Premier League of prioritizing commercial interests over women’s safety and described a culture of fear discouraging reporting.
The investigation found that seven out of 20 Premier League clubs have had individuals investigated for sexual offenses since 2020.
“I didn’t want to exist in a world where I’m constantly reminded that rape allegations can be ignored as long as you’re talented enough,” a woman that reported a player for rape said.
Calls for the suspension of players involved in criminal allegations until investigations conclude have arisen due to their public role-model status.
Concerns have been raised
Victims reported delayed, opaque, or absent responses from the FA and Premier League, prompting concerns for the safety of women and the potential silencing of future victims.
The BBC’s findings have raised significant concerns, with calls for the upcoming independent football regulator to address the lack of response to violence against women within the sport.
“For over a year I’ve been investigating abuse allegations within the Premier League,” BBC journalist Hannah Price wrote on X.
“Clubs have continued to play two footballers, and kept a boss in post, while knowing they’re under police investigation. Alleged victims describe a culture of fear.”