QPR1st welcomes the club’s statement that it takes historical child abuse allegations made against a former employee very seriously and that it will cooperate fully in any forthcoming investigation. It is also appreciated that the club now has robust recruitment procedures and safeguarding polices in place.
It is not clear what exactly the Club knew about Gieler’s activities. Gieler was not charged let alone convicted of child sex abuse. Accounts suggest that incidents occurred when no other adults were present and the boys themselves did not report what was going on. It can be argued that Gieler should have been more closely supervised but no evidence has been so far presented that the Club was involved in any kind of cover-up or that it attempted to pay off or intimidate any victims that came forth.
Nevertheless the media is clearly suggesting that the Club did know by implying that this was why he was sacked. The club is quite rightly being circumspect about what information it releases into the public domain. Nevertheless if Club records indicate that he was sacked for an unrelated reason, then it is in the Club’s interest to make this known.
We would ask the club to be proactive in contacting former youth players to advise them about what support is available from appropriate services if they were victims of sex abuse. We would also urge the FA to complete its investigation into an issue that is casting such a dark shadow over the game as a matter of urgency.