Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling Albion chairman suspended over youth coach sex abuse probe

Forthbank Stadium Image copyright SNS
Image caption Stirling Albion is the first Scottish senior club to be owned by its fans

Stirling Albion's chairman has been suspended while the club's owners investigate whether a sexual abuse allegation against one of its coaches was properly handled.

Stuart Brown was asked to step aside following a meeting of the Stirling Albion Supporters' Trust (SAST).

The trust said it was only recently made aware by the club of the allegations and police investigation.

It is now arranging for an independent inquiry to be held.

The SAST confirmed that one of the club's youth development coaches had been charged with sexual offences.

It said the coach was suspended in line with the club's child protection policy after the alleged offences came to light in 2016 and that he remains suspended.

Police investigation

An SAST statement said: "At that time, club officials also notified and sought advice from the Scottish Football Association.

"However, SAST was only made aware by the club of the allegations and subsequent police investigation a matter of days ago.

"The trust is now arranging for an independent inquiry into the chronology of events to determine why it was not promptly informed."

The trust said that Mr Brown, who is the club chairman and operations director, has been suspended while the inquiry is carried out.

The statement added: "It is important to make clear that there is no suggestion that either Mr Brown or any other club official has acted illegally or colluded in these alleged offences.

"We note that the club's child protection policy was reviewed internally in August 2017 to the satisfaction of the youth department.

"However, SAST will now additionally arrange for a thorough independent review of all child protection protocols within the Stirling Albion football family."

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