Newspaper headlines: Chelsea 'hush money' claim & 'soft Brexit'

Last week, the Daily Telegraph revealed that a Premier League club paid "hush money" to an un-named player who was abused in the 1970s.

Today, the Daily Mirror says the club was Chelsea - and the player is Gary Johnson, now 57.

Mr Johnson tells the paper he was abused by former Chelsea scout Eddie Heath from the age of 13.

Heath worked for the club between 1968 and 1979 and died in the late 1980s.

Mr Johnson says the abuse started in 1973 when he went to Heath's home.

He went to the police in 2014 and was advised to "go back to Chelsea". The Professional Footballers' Association did not return his calls, he says.

He went to a law firm who approached Chelsea for compensation.

"They basically said, 'prove it'," says Mr Johnson. "It made me feel like they thought I was faking it."

In 2015 he accepted £50,000 from the club and signed a confidentially agreement.

This week Chelsea waived the confidentiality agreement and Mr Johnson waived his right to anonymity.

"All their fans deserve to know the truth about what went on," he says. "How many others are there out there?"

Chelsea said it has employed a law firm to investigate Eddie Heath's behaviour at the club. It also assisting the FA with its wider inquiry.

Image copyright Getty Images

"The FA has vowed that any club who have give a child abuse victim hush money will be punished," reports the back page of the Daily Mail.

The FA's chief executive Martin Glenn tells the paper: "If there has been any evidence of a breach of the rules... we will apply the rules from top to bottom, regardless of the size of club."

The Guardian leads on the abuse scandal, saying police have been "flooded" with claims of abuse.

At least 350 people came forward between 24 and 30 November.

"Police chiefs are vowing to hunt down anyone responsible - no matter how long ago the crimes took place," the paper says.

But in the Daily Mail, Richard Littlejohn urges a "sense of proportion".

"I'm not questioning the sincerity of those men who have come forward this week," he writes. "But I am concerned that perspective is in danger of being lost...

"If we've learned anything from the past few years, it's that innocent lives have been ruined by fantasists indulged by over-zealous police chiefs and prosecutors.

"The last thing we need is another deranged witch-hunt, with blameless football managers being led away in handcuffs, their homes ransacked by detectives, their reputations dragged through the dirt."

I know nothing

Image copyright PA

The Daily Mail broke the story of Andrew Sachs' death in its first edition.

His wife, Melody, tells the paper: "We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment.

"He had dementia for four years and we didn't really notice it at first until the memory started going.

"It didn't get really bad until quite near the end."

The Mail's Christopher Stevens says Sachs originally wanted Fawlty Towers' waiter to be German, rather than Spanish.

"Cleese respected his co-star enough to consider the suggestion seriously," writes Stevens.

"In the end, though, he overruled him, in the process giving one of Britain's best-loved TV sitcoms a comic character of peerless genius.

"Cleese was convinced there would never be sufficient comic material in a German waiter. Heinrich from Munich would be efficient, competent, confident - all the things Manuel could not be."

Polls apart?

A poll of British Muslims for the Policy Exchange think tank is covered three ways by three papers.

The Times runs the story on its front page, with the headline: "Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life."

"Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly "Islamic" concerns," the paper says,

"Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country."

The Mail pulls out a different question from the survey, with the headline: "Only 1 in 25 British Muslims believe Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 attack, says think tank."

"Some 31 per cent thought the American government was behind the strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon," the paper reports.

"Another 7 per cent said it was a Jewish plot, while 58 per cent did not know."

Meanwhile the Guardian's headline reads: "British Muslims have separatist tendencies."

David Goodhart, co-author of the report, says: "British Muslims as a whole continue to live somewhat more separately than other large ethno-cultural minorities - in neighbourhoods and schools, in terms of women not working, and in terms of attitudes and religiosity."

Toilet humour

Image copyright Thinkstock

It is, it seems, a pressing issue for Tatler readers: what can - and can't - we be snobbish about?

Thankfully, the society magazine has produced a list.

It's fine to be snobbish about "sticks in vases, coloured loo paper, and red cars," says Tatler.

But it's not okay to look down on "piercings, paper napkins, or cheap chocolates".

The Telegraph - which reports Tatler's list - says the "most controversial" argument involves the toilet.

For years, experts have claimed the word is down-market. But, says Tatler, the word should be reclaimed by the well-spoken.

"It's all a bit embarrassing, continuing to mind so much about this one word," says writer Annabel Rivkin.

The magazine's editor, Kate Reardon, insists the list is "terribly important".

"In an age of such political and economic uncertainty we all need to know where were stand," she says.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBaroness Altmann and Mihir Bose review Friday's papers for BBC News