A statement below from The Clyde FC Community Foundation.
On 15th March 2022 a nightmare began for The Clyde FC Community Foundation. Lauren Rabbitte, a former volunteer for the Foundation lodged a claim against this charity and The Clyde Football Club CIC. The case centring on a wholly unsubstantiated claim that she had been offered, and had accepted, a full time post by the Football Club and that the Football Club had failed to pay her over the 5 months prior to resigning from the foundation.
Ten months later on 25th January 2023, the stinging judgement of the tribunal was delivered. Miss Rabbitte’s version of events had been entirely rejected by the court.
Following the immeasurable distraction, damage to our community programmes, impact on our staff, and the loss of almost £30,000 in irrecoverable legal fees to defend a wholly unfounded and inexplicable assault on the reputation of our charity and our football club we have the opportunity to set some context.
The Foundation put time, energy, and trust into Ms Rabbitte as we sought to give her the opportunity to build an ambitious programme for the advancement of women and girls football associated with Clyde Football Club. That trust was betrayed on all levels, and far from advancing the game for women and girls, her actions have set us back immensely.
As a third sector organisation we value the many volunteers who make our work possible, without them we would not exist, the breach of trust by a volunteer with no regard whatsoever for those on the receiving end is simply callous.
It is well known that the costs of defending a claim like this are extensive and virtually always irrecoverable regardless of outcome, so when this claim was submitted, we were counselled by some to settle the claim so that we might not face the threat of costs that could have resulted in closure of the charity. The claims were so unreasonable and damaging across both the Foundation and the Football Club, that we simply couldn’t succumb to such tactics.
The judgement is lengthy, but unequivocal, calling into question the credibility of Ms Rabbitte on almost every point argued in the tribunal.
Ms Rabbitte has regularly repeated her claims in social media and print media. Neither ourselves nor the Football Club were ever asked for comment by any of the parties writing stories promoting her claims, seemingly content to run with lurid headlines founded on statements that failed the credibility test when challenged.
There are lessons to be learned from this experience for any organisation which depends on volunteers. Sadly few of the lessons are positive or build the trust and goodwill that we so often take for granted when we are all working to a common end.
We hope to be able restart our women and girls football programme, which amongst other activities, was lost on the back of this inexplicable assault robbing all of our activities of almost £30,000.
Ms Rabbitte promoted her cause by crowd funding to finance her legal fees, we hope that we might recover some of our costs now that the facts are public. If you can assist us to recover, please click this link to contribute to a ring fenced fund for the development of women and girls football.
We wish to thank all of those who stood by the Foundation and Football Club and who did not rush to judgement.