Sunderland have sacked winger Adam Johnson a day after he pleaded guilty to two child sex offences.
Johnson was in court in Bradford on Wednesday, where he admitted one count of grooming and one of sexual activity with a 15-year-old schoolgirl, but also denied two further charges of sexual activity.
The 28-year-old, capped 12 times by England, will be back in court on Friday for the start of his trial.
And a brief Sunderland statement released on Thursday evening read: “In light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect.”
A couple of hours earlier, Johnson had lost his boot sponsorship deal with Adidas, who also cited his guilty pleas in a brief statement.
Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce said at his Thursday afternoon press conference that Johnson would not be in the squad for this weekend’s match with Manchester United and the club have now decided that his days as a Sunderland player are over.
Johnson played for Middlesbrough and Manchester City before Sunderland signed him for £10m in August 2012.
He was initially suspended by the club following his arrest in March of last year, but was then allowed to resume his career.
He has featured regularly this season and was on target in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool, which has proved to be his final game for the team.
Johnson’s trial is expected to last two weeks.