Celtic Boys Club coach quits over bullying row

A child protection officer at one of the country's leading youth football clubs has resigned over claims that complaints of bullying were being ignored.

Jim Stewart resigned after his recommendations were ignored. Picture: Garry McHarg
Jim Stewart resigned after his recommendations were ignored. Picture: Garry McHarg

Jim Stewart of Celtic Boys Club reportedly quit after his recommendation that a coach should be sanctioned was not acted upon.

It follows separate complaints from Stewart that verbal abuse from players’ parents drove two other youth coaches to leave the club.

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The coach, who has worked in a child protection role at the boys’ club for the past five years, said: “There have been too many instances of children being put at risk with no consequences for the perpetrators.”

Celtic Boys Club was founded in 1966 and is not linked to Celtic Football Club.

Stewart was asked to write a report on the conduct of one coach, which resulted in a recommendation that he be removed from coaching duties, the Daily Record reported. He was said to be furious after it was ignored by club bosses.

The coach was accused of bullying a boy at a tournament in Holland earlier this year, leading to one player to be removed from the club by his father.

It emerged the coach had been accused of a similar outburst two years ago, which resulted in another boy being withdrawn from the club.

Stewart’s resignation letter, seen by the Daily Record, said: “I can’t accept the committee’s total failure to deal with child protection issues.

“As the committee will not allow me to act in any way that allows me to protect the health and wellbeing of the children involved with the boys club, I have no option but to resign.”

He continued: “I produced a report which included a recommendation the coach have no further involvement in the boys club. I was not allowed to bring this to the committee for discussion.”

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Stewart’s letter claims the parents accused of threatening behaviour are related to club committee members.

He added: “I didn’t resign lightly.

“I didn’t want anyone to be able to accuse me of standing by and doing nothing.”

Club chairman Steven McNellis emailed Stewart to say a separate probe into a club coach had been launched. It is thought the committee question the methods used by Stewart in his probe.

Celtic Boys Club said in a statement: “The club will never tolerate bullying and discrimination.”