Adam Johnson verdict: Sunderland claim footballer misled them over child sex case

There was no mention of him in the match programme for Tuesday night’s game against Crystal Palace.

And a fortnight ago, in his programme notes, his former boss Sam Allardyce described his opening goal at Anfield without mentioning Johnson by name.

Sunderland’s statement continued: “The club was informed that it was Mr Johnson’s intention to defend all the charges, a stance he maintained right up until the first day of the trial.

“The club continued to review the safeguarding procedures it had put in place throughout this time.

“On 4 May 2015, an introductory meeting took place between Mr Johnson, his father and Orlando Pownall QC (his defence counsel). The club’s CEO (Ms Byrne) was present during part of that meeting.

“During the time she was present, there was no suggestion whatsoever that Mr Johnson would be changing his plea.”

Johnson was granted bail ahead of sentencing in two to three weeks with Judge Jonathan Rose warning him that prison is “the almost inevitable outcome”.

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