Sunderland have sacked midfielder Adam Johnson after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming earlier this week, reported Mail Online.
The decision was reportedly taken last night, as the shocking admission of guilt came out during his court hearing.
His trial at Bradford Crown Court on two further counts of sexual activity begins on Friday morning. Sunderland have taken the decision to part ways with the player as a result.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 11, 2016
Sunderland AFC said in a statement: “In light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect. The club will make no further comment.”
The decision has emerged just hours after boot suppliers Adidas cut their own ties with the player. The deal between the manufacturer and the club has not been affected, however.
Adidas had said in a statement: “Adidas can confirm that it has terminated its contract with footballer Adam Johnson with immediate effect. This follows his guilty pleas entered earlier this week.”
Club manager Sam Allardyce had said last week that Sunderland would continue to play Johnson during his trial, though at that time the club believed the player would plead not guilty to all four charges. Earlier on Thursday, Allardyce had ruled Johnson out of the weekend’s game with Manchester United.
He had said when asked about the England international’s long-term availability: “I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes beyond that.”
Johnson now faces the prospect of prison, with guidelines on sentencing for the grooming offence giving a maximum of two years and six months.