Inn the Field of Play - April 2016: Adam Johnson - the fallout

Posted by: Robert Lewis and Tom Rudkin | Date posted : 22/04/2016

Following Adam Johnson's conviction for sexual activity with a child and his subsequent six year sentence (both of which are now the subject of an appeal), it has been well documented that his former employer, Sunderland Football Club, found themselves under intense media scrutiny resulting in the resignation of their chief executive Margaret Byrne in March.  Organisations are frequently judged both internally and externally by their response to disciplinary issues involving their employees and, with the benefit of hindsight, the court of public opinion has judged that Sunderland handled this badly.  In this article we consider the options that were available to Sunderland in dealing with the accusations against Johnson, the factors they could have taken into account and consider how they might have handled this matter differently.

Please click here to read the article in full.

If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing please contact Rob Lewis (; +44 (0)203 375 7371), Tom Rudkin (; +44 (0)203 375 7586) or your usual contact at the firm on 020 3375 7000. Further information can also be found on the Sports page of our website.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP,  April 2016