Adam Johnson Sacked by Sunderland After Guilty Plea in Child Sex Case

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

Sunderland's Adam Johnson during the English Premier League soccer match between Sunderland and Bournemouth at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Sunderland sacked winger Adam Johnson on Thursday after the former England international pleaded guilty to one count of grooming and one count of sexual activity with a child under 16 years of age.

The 28-year-old admitted to the counts Wednesday, and his trial is set to begin Friday, per the MailOnline's Matt Lawton

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce previously confirmed Johnson would sit out Saturday's match against Manchester United, per Lawton, but club officials have now made the decision to terminate his contract immediately. The Black Cats confirmed the news via their official website.

The club's statement read: "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."

Per Lawton, Johnson's boot sponsorship with Adidas was also terminated earlier on Thursday. 

Allardyce told reporters on Feb. 4 that Johnson would be considered for selection throughout his trial, per the Daily Mail's Craig Hope.

The offences took place in January 2015, leading to Johnson's arrest and suspension in March. He returned to the pitch before the end of the 2014-15 campaign and helped the Black Cats avoid relegation, and he was a regular in the team's starting XI in 2015-16 as well.

On the count of grooming, Johnson's punishment could be a prison sentence of a maximum of two years and six months, per Lawton.