The Adam Johnson trial is now in its ninth day and the player himself has just finished giving evidence earlier today.
The charges against the player are of course very serious and the whole case an upsetting time for those directly involved, as well as being a sad episode for English football.
The day to day coverage (@CraigHope_DM and @JoshHalliday covering the case each day for the Mail and Guardian respectively) of the case is compelling, with some astonishing evidence given by those appearing in court.
Especially intriguing is the insight into what allegedly happened between the player first being arrested and the case coming to court.
Adam Johnson being quizzed about his interaction with both the rest of the Sunderland squad and those people involved in the overall management of the club, in the year or so before the case has come to trial.
How a football club deals with such a situation obviously is a balance between getting on with the normal operation of their business, whilst at the same time making decisions as to what the role of the accused person is, whilst the case is waiting to be heard.
Fair to say that what Adam Johnson has claimed so far doesn’t put Sunderland AFC in the best of lights, in terms of what he says they were made aware of whilst he was still allowed to play for the team after an initial period of suspension of 16 days after his initial arrest. I’m sure that once the verdict is reached in the case, the club will be giving their own explanation of why they handled the situation in a certain way.
In one bizarre passage of evidence today, it saw Johnson revealing Sunderland’s system of fines for players who stepped out of line in terms of more minor issues regarding club discipline.
The player claiming that because he wasn’t fined for allegedly turning up late before Sunderland’s home game with Burnley last season, meant he hadn’t spent a certain period of time on that day with the girl in question.
Adam Johnson revealed that the Sunderland fines system saw players punished:
Up to 5 minutes late £100.
5-15 minutes late £250.
15 minutes+ late £500.
Miss team bus – fined two weeks’ wages and dropped from squad.
The player also revealing that if anybody turned up for dinner wearing a hat, they were then also fined an unspecified amount.
Adam Johnson had admitted in another part of his evidence to accepting hundreds of pounds of fines at other times for being late, so he could see the girl, the fines system at a modern Premier League football club all a bit irrelevant for players such as Adam Johnson earning £60,000 a week.