On Wednesday, Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson appeared in court and pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl and one charge of grooming. The sexual activity to which he admitted was kissing and touching the girl, and grooming refers to actions that are generally legal, but may lead to sexual activity with a minor. He was initially suspended back in March when he was arrested, but had since re-joined the team.
Following his guilty pleas, manager Sam Allardyce dropped him from the roster for Saturday's match against Manchester United, but now Sunderland have released him outright. The club issued a very brief statement on the matter:
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 news comes not long after Adidas terminated their contract with Johnson. Johnson still faces two additional counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 related to the same girl. He will appear in court for those charges on Friday, and the trial is expected to last two weeks.