Chelsea will pay compensation to four former youth-team players over historical racist abuse at the London club, preventing the need for a harrowing court case.

The four men sued Chelsea, seeking damages for personal injury and loss over claims they were “subjected to a barrage of disgracefully offensive racist abuse” from two members of the youth coaching staff in the 1990s when the club was under previous ownership.

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It was alleged in court documents that one coach “would accompany that verbal abuse with physical assaults of a sexual nature”. The men were aged between 14 and 18 at the time.

They will receive six-figure payments from Chelsea from the out-of-court settlement.

“The club is pleased that we have been able to conclude a settlement of these claims without any further litigation,” Chelsea said in a statement. “We will continue to offer support to the former players concerned through our dedicated player support service.”