Chelsea have vowed to support investigations into allegations of racism and bullying made against two former coaches at the club.
According to an exclusive report in the Guardian on Friday, three former youth-team players have launched legal claims against Chelsea.
Graham Rix and Gwyn Williams – former members of the backroom staff at Stamford Bridge – are each alleged to have made a host of offensive comments to black players. Rix is also accused of physical assault.
A statement from the solicitors who represent both men said Rix and Williams “deny all and any allegations of racial or other abuse”, while the Metropolitan Police Service previously decided there was not sufficient evidence to take action after conducting an investigation.
The Guardian report the Football Association’s safeguarding team are continuing to probe the matter and have spoken to two of the three players involved.
At the end of Antonio Conte’s news conference on Friday, Chelsea’s head of communications and public affairs, Steve Atkins, told reporters: “What we have consistently said on allegations of this nature is that we take them extremely seriously.
“We are absolutely determined to do the right thing, to fully support those affected, and we will assist the authorities and support their investigations.”
In a statement provided to Omnisport, Lawrence Stephens Solicitors made it clear Rix and Williams deny all the allegations against them.
The statement read: “Our clients deny all and any allegations of racial or other abuse. These allegations were the subject of a thorough investigation by specialist officers of the Metropolitan Police Service. The MPS did not consider there was sufficient evidence even to report it to the CPS. Our clients cooperated with that investigation.
“The allegations in the Guardian newspaper are contained, as we understand it, within correspondence sent to Chelsea Football Club. That correspondence has not been seen by our clients or by us. No correspondence has been sent to our clients or us by these individuals or those representing them.
“We will of course deal with any allegations if made directly to our clients. Our clients are cooperating fully with the FA in this matter.”