Former Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson was reportedly hoping to join Hartlepool United after his release from jail.
According to The Sun, the convicted sex offender, who was jailed in March 2016 after being convicted of grooming and sexual activity with a child under 16, was hoping to continue his career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool when he’s released, which won’t be until next March at the earliest.
But his father rubbished the claims, saying: “It’s news to us and we are not aware of any conversations that have been had.”
Dai Davies: 'He has to take the consequence'
Former Metropolitan Police chief Dai Davies was opposed to Johnson returning to football, telling Matthew Wright on talkRADIO that Johnson “crossed that line” and has to accept the “consequences”.
“We have to have a line somewhere, and I think he crossed that line,” he said.
“He probably is incredibly immature, he might be an incredibly good footballer, but I’m afraid he has to take the consequence. That consequence has to take precedence, if you like, over any sympathy I might have, or that anyone else might have.”
Lowri Turner: 'Can someone go beyong their crime?'
Co-host Lowri Turner took a different stance. “Surely it comes down to whether he’s a danger to young women?” she asked.
“His job is on the football pitch, it wasn’t in the workplace that this [crime] occurred.
“I think there becomes a human rights issue of whether someone is ever allowed to go beyond their crime.
“If you’re talking about a teacher, they are teaching children, it’s directly part of their workplace that the crime has been committed. If it was a teacher, I definitely would be very nervous about putting them back in the classroom. But a footballer? If he were to sign a very strict behaviour contract, I just think he should be allowed to get on with his life.”
Johnson has had two appeals against his sentence refused so far.