CELTIC has been accused of "insulting" the survivors of paedophile Jim McCafferty, a former club kitman.

The club on Friday afternoon issued a statement of "regret and sorrow" - but not an apology - for the boys who suffered at the hands of the 73-year-old.

McCafferty, who also worked for Falkirk and Hibernian, was earlier this month jailed for sexually abusing 10 young footballers between 1972 and 1996.

A lawyer representing at least three of his victims, Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors, attacked both the content and the timing of the Celtic message, which was published on the club's website.

READ MORE: Celtic FC releases statement following guilty plea of former kitman Jim McCafferty

Mr McGuire said: “It would charitable to Celtic to describe this as too little too late.

"There is no apology. There is no acknowledgement of Celtic's failures.

"There is no willingness to pay compensation and to follow the lead of Manchester City, particularly as we know some of the abuse took place when McCafferty was employed by Celtic and was in a position of considerable influence and power within the Celtic youth set up.

"I would also describe the timing of this release as cynical in the extreme.

"The conviction and sentencing of McCafferty was over a week ago. To put this statement out late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, on the day the Prime Minister resigns and before a potential Treble Treble weekend for the club is appalling.

"It is insult to everyone who suffered abuse and to their families. It is the worst kind of PR low cunning and casts the club in an even worse light than before. Every member of the Celtic board should hang their heads in shame."

Nobody at Celtic was available to comment on the timing of the statement, or its comment. Thompsons have sought compensation for several clients who were victims of Mr McCafferty and others.

READ MORE: Police letter outlines decision to re-route loyal and Orange Order parades

Thompsons were also unhappy with a club statement issued last November on the conviction of another child abuser, James Torbett, the founder of Celtic Boys Club, a separate organisation with an historic relationship with Celtic. Mr McGuire represents several of Torbett's victims too.

Celtic, in its Friday statement, said: “James McCafferty has pled guilty to offences he committed against young people between 1972 and 1996. Celtic Football Club wishes to express its regret and sorrow to those young people.

"McCafferty, who was employed by Celtic Football Club in the mid 1990s, committed these acts many years ago across a number of organisations, and all those who have come forward to report abuse and to give evidence deserve enormous praise for the courage they have shown.

"We offer our sincere sympathy to those young people, their families and all those involved.

"These are very sensitive issues, particularly for those who suffered abuse.

"When the allegations were published in the media in 2016, Celtic Football Club encouraged any individuals involved to report all information to the police so that these matters could be investigated fully and the Club continues to encourage any victim of abuse to report these matters to the police.

"Celtic Football Club takes all of its responsibilities seriously, stands by its responsibilities and will continue to do so.

READ MORE: Man cleared of racially abusing Rangers captain James Tavernier

"The abuse of children has affected many areas of society, including football clubs, sports clubs, youth organisations, educational institutions and religious bodies across Britain.

"Celtic Football Club strongly believes that children and young people involved in football have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse and is committed to ensuring this and to promoting their wellbeing through continued cooperation with our children and young people, parents and carers and the relevant authorities.

"Celtic Football Club was the first club in Scotland to appoint a safeguarding officer, responsible for developing our policies for the protection of young people, and monitoring and reviewing our procedures to ensure they continue to reflect best practice."

McCafferty was the third person connected to the former Celtic Boys Club staff after Jim Torbett, 71, its founder, and Frank Cairney, an 83-year-old former coach, were both jailed for sexually abusing youngsters. Some of the abuse took place in the dressing room at Celtic Park.

Another coach, Gerald King, 66, the former chairman of the boys’ club, was convicted of abusing four boys and a girl while he was employed as a primary school teacher, but was not jailed.

MSP James Dornan wrote to Peter Lawwell, Celtic’s chief executive, asking for Celtic to investigate the scandal. The club had expressed sympathy for the victims but insisted that the Boys Club is a separate organisation and not its responsibility.

The SNP MSP called for Celtic to follow the example set by Manchester City by apologising and offering compensation to victims who were sexually abused while in youth teams affiliated to the club saying: “This is a club that prides itself on doing the right thing. They must surely see that these individuals that played for Celtic Boys Club are part of the wider Celtic family.

“They should do what Manchester City did and make some money available to them, but more than that, they should make these people feel like they belong again.”

The English club set up a compensation scheme for sex abuse victims of former youth coach Barry Bennell.

Bennell was convicted last year of 52 offences committed against 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991. One of McCafferty's victims told the BBC he had been taken by the former Celtic man to meet Bennell in England.

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories. 

Celtic Boys Club was founded in Maryhill in 1966 and renamed St Patrick's Sports Academy in 2018.