PR is the one club the investigation into child sexual abuse failed to “get to the bottom of what went on”, according to the report’s author, Clive Sheldon QC.
The club was one of 17 mentioned in the 710-page report published yesterday, concerning allegations against former scout and youth chief Chris Gieler.
Sheldon spoke favourably about the work of the club’s current hierarchy in trying to look into past abuse claims, but concluded: “QPR and Chris Gieler is the one club where I feel like I didn’t get to the bottom of what went on as they [some abuse survivors] didn’t want to speak to me or to the club.”
Gieler died in 2002, with his abuse dating from 1973 until the mid-1980s, although he was not convicted of any offences related to sexual abuse.
According to the report, it was alleged that Gieler would isolate an individual youth player and “would then sexually abuse the young player. The abuse typically consisted of touching of the genital area”. It reported claims he “slapped” a player’s penis and testicles and took boys to look at the underwear section of department stores.
There were reports boys stayed overnight at his house but Sheldon could not corroborate those claims. The review spoke to an unnamed police officer, who was told that “Gieler was a person to avoid at QPR”.
QPR this morning said they “welcomed” the publication of the review. The club now have a dedicated safeguarding team in place.