THE full scale of historical sexual abuse within Scottish football will “likely never be known”, a long-awaited report has said. 

Clubs across the country – including Celtic, Rangers, and Partick Thistle – were told to apologise yesterday and offer compensation by an independent review into allegations in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. 

Dozens of survivors who endured “incalculable” suffering at the hands of officials came forward to give evidence, with authors saying they were shocked how easy it was for people to use their “good standing” to again unfettered access to children. 

READ MORE: Scottish football clubs must issue 'unreserved apology' to victims of historic sexual abuse

However, in the majority of cases, the Scottish-FA commissioned review found no-one in the game had concrete evidence of abuse at the time, but said there were levels of suspicion which could have been acted on. 

“We fully expect people to continue to come forward with accounts of abuse that has occurred in Scottish football in past years,” the report said. “Many will choose to remain silent or sadly are no longer alive to tell their stories. 

Glasgow Times: Ian Maxwell issued an apology yesterday Ian Maxwell issued an apology yesterday

“The full picture of the true extent and nature of sexual abuse in Scottish football will likely never be known.” 

The Independent Review of Sexual Abuse in Scottish Football, which had been delayed on a number of occasions due to “ongoing legal issues”, made a string of remarks following the testimony of survivors of abuse at Glasgow’s clubs. 

It found it was possible senior figures at Celtic FC, including a former board member, were aware of allegations of historic abuse taking place at feeder team Celtic Boys Club; the report also found it concerning Jim Torbett was allowed to return to the club despite suspicion being raised; no evidence could be found that Rangers board members contacted police after sacking a youth coach (Gordon Neely, who died in 2014 from cancer) in 1991, but he was dismissed as soon as senior managers at the club became aware; while a former Partick Thistle youth player alleged he was raped by a physiotherapist employed by the club in the 1980s. 

The review heard from 33 people who were personally affected by abuse. 

This included from a Mr K Campbell, who waived his right to anonymity, who said he was sexually abused by Torbett at Celtic Boys Club shortly after joining in 1986. He was 13 at the time. 

Torbett has twice been imprisoned for attacking young boys between 1967 and 1994. 

Of Gordon Neely (referred to as D), Rangers’ head of youth development between 1986 and 1991, one young person – named only as X – alleged he was forced to take down his tracksuit bottoms and pants in a bathroom. 

Although the report has no legal authority to enforce its findings, 97 recommendations were made to football chiefs. 

READ MORE: Partick Thistle issue apology to victims of sex abuse in Scottish football

Partick Thistle were the only Glasgow club to either respond to a request for comment or release a statement following the publication of the report. 

Glasgow Times: Partick Thistle issued an apology yesterday Partick Thistle issued an apology yesterday

A spokesman said: “We remain committed to cooperating fully with all investigations and we apologise sincerely on behalf of Partick Thistle to anyone personally affected by historic abuse within our game.” 

Rangers and Celtic have both previously apologised for abuse that has taken place, however the latter has insisted Celtic Boys Club is a separate entity from the Parkhead side. 

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell also issued a fresh apology yesterday.