Saturday 20 July 2019

Jon Flanagan strongly condemned by Liverpool after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend

Liverpool football player Jon Flanagan outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court, where he was sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order for assaulting his girlfriend. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Liverpool football player Jon Flanagan outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court, where he was sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order for assaulting his girlfriend. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Chris Bascombe

Jon Flanagan, the Liverpool defender, has been condemned by his club and faces further disciplinary action following his conviction for assaulting his girlfriend.

Flanagan was given a 12 month community order with 40 hours unpaid work after admitting the offence.

Now his Anfield career is under threat as Liverpool delivered a strongly worded denunciation of his conduct expressing their 'anger'. An internal process is underway to determine what further action is necessary.

“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the player’s actions during the events that took place resulting in this criminal conviction,” said a club spokesman.

“It leaves his own reputation damaged and, through association, he has severely let down the club he had previously represented with distinction.

“We have expressed to him our disappointment and anger that he has failed to live up to the values of Liverpool Football Club, in this specific instance.

“The club has allowed the legal formalities to reach a conclusion before deciding on or implementing any internal disciplinary action. That internal process will now begin.”

Flanagan pleaded guilty to the charge having been arrested during a night out over Christmas. He was also ordered to complete 15 rehabilitation days following Wednesday's hearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court.

The 24-year-old must now hope his club aim towards rehabilitating him into their squad.

His legal representative, Lionel Greig, suggested in court Liverpool FC ‘could work to provide support and education to ensure that this incident is not repeated’.

Flanagan admitted the common assault charge following an incident on December 22, the day Liverpool played their 3-3 draw with Arsenal at The Emirates.

Liverpool magistrates viewed CCTV footage of Flanagan pushing girlfriend Rachael Wall towards a wall and aiming a kick at her while drunk in the city centre. The offence carries up to six months in jail, but the former England international was informed there would be no custodial sentence prior to today’s hearing.

Flanagan is a graduate of Liverpool’s famed youth Academy, initially promoted to senior level by Kenny Dalglish in 2011 before becoming a regular when Brendan Rodgers’ side finished runners-up in 2014.

Shortly after, Flanagan suffered with a serious knee injury since when he has never been able to recover the form that earned him a call up into the England squad. He has struggled for regular game time ever since.

With Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and injury absentee Nathaniel Clyne the club’s favoured right backs, Flanagan’s chances under Jurgen Klopp have been limited.

The defender has featured only in Carabao Cup action this season but his contract runs until the end of next season.

Prior to the incident, Flanagan was already aware he could leave the club on loan should suitable offers materialise. He spent last year at Burnley but was unable to secure a permanent transfer to Turf Moor.

Telegraph.co.uk

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