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Adam Johnson Thoughts

In light of the guilty verdicts reached yesterday in the trial of Adam Johnson, we were asked by The Times (@GRokerReport) and The Sun (@Capt_Fishpaste) to give our thoughts regarding the situation.

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@GRokerReport For The Times:

Although a verdict has been reached in the trial of Adam Johnson, the fallout will be huge and as a result we'll likely not hear the end of what has gone on for quite some time.

Whether Sunderland - the owner, the CEO, whoever - know more than they've let on remains subjective. What we do know, however, is that Adam Johnson knew. Adam Johnson knew exactly what he had done, and regardless he continued to represent Sunderland football club. For me, beyond the crimes committed upon a young girl and the impact it has had on both her family and Johnson's family, that is the most damning, saddening and frankly sickening aspect of this whole sorry mess.

I've avoided commenting on the case until a guilty verdict was delivered, and not because I wanted to keep my opinions to myself. In fact, I just do not want to even think about what has gone on any longer. For me as a Sunderland supporter, it embarrasses me that someone representing the club that I love has done what Adam Johnson has done. It's completely reprehensible.

What is important is that Adam Johnson acted without considering the feelings of a vulnerable child. He acted without considering the feelings of the Sunderland supporters. He acted without considering the feelings of his loyal partner, who now has to bring up his child and one day has to explain to her why her dad went to prison. He acted without considering the feelings of his family, or the family of his victim.

He acted without considering anyone but himself, and for that I hope proper justice will be served to what I can only describe as a vile human being who deserves everything that he has coming to him.

@Capt_Fishpaste For The Sun:

It's a highly emotive issue and I can understand why it's important for fans to put the club's actions under some scrutiny.

However, I can also appreciate the very difficult position the club, through no fault of their own, found themselves in.

I don't know what exactly Adam Johnson told them and, in all honesty, I'm not even sure of what they were legally allowed to do anyway. But I know that, right up until the start of the trial, Johnson was telling a court that he was not guilty and therefore had all the rights attached to the presumption of innocence.

As it transpired, that was just one of what turned out to be many lies told by Johnson over the course of a year and the club have become just another addition to a lengthy list of recipients of those lies.

I don't believe for one second the daft suggestion they were putting Premier League points and survival before morality.

I can, of course, appreciate that there is a morality perspective in all of this, but I'd personally have had just as big an issue from a morality point of view had my club pre-judged, condemned and punished someone who was protesting his innocence to a court of law. Once the courts were involved, I think they and their judgement had to be deferred to. The course had to be run.

It's easy after he had changed his plea to 'guilty' to go back with the benefit of that hindsight and assess decisions made without it. Had the club had that information earlier, they have been very clear in their statement, and immediate actions that followed the guilty plea, that they'd have handled things very differently.

Every part of the Adam Johnson situation has been unsettling from the start, but ultimately I'm comfortable with how the club handled it.