Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce says he and his squad feel totally let down by Adam Johnson, after he allegedly lied to them about his plan to plead guilty to sexual activity with a minor.
Johnson found guilty
Johnson was found guilty on one count of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 after a trial at Bradford Crown Court. The winger was only sacked from Sunderland after he pleaded guilty to grooming the youngster, something which Allardyce and his team were shocked to find out.
The club have released a statement outlining their reasoning behind not permanently suspending the ex-England midfielder and stand by their claim that Johnson had denied all charges when asked by club officials and teammates.
Sunderland have been accused of keeping Johnson in the team to help boost their chances of staying in the top flight. However, despite how much his performances may have helped Sunderland on the pitch, he is now accused of "letting down" the club off the pitch.
Allardyce told press earlier today that it was a "massive shock" when Johnson announced his plea decision before the trial. He went on to explain how the players feel completely "let down" by their former teammate.
Allardyce also said he felt "nothing but sympathy" for the victim.
Allardyce says it is "very difficult" for him to comment on the matter regarding Johnson's claim that the club knew the truth, due to the fact that the manager believed Johnson was always planning on pleading not guilty.
Chief executive Margaret Byrne has been in the firing line this week over claims that she knew Johnson was guilty of the crime after a meeting last year. Fans are asking for answers regarding the situation and wondering whether the club plan to sue Johnson over his decision to deceive the club.