Crewe agree first settlement with Barry Bennell victim after U-turn

• Out-of-court deal signals change of position by club
• Club have declined to offer an apology to player’s parents

Crewe Alexandra have dramatically changed their position in the face of widespread legal action from Barry Bennell’s victims and agreed the first out-of-court settlement for damages since the club’s former youth-team coach was sentenced to 31 years in prison.

The deal was signed off on Tuesday and represents a significant climbdown on Crewe’s part bearing in mind the aggressive tactics they have been using to fight the claims in the high court. The club’s lawyers were calling for the cases to be thrown out but the Guardian’s information is that they will now offer similar settlements to more of their former players.

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