After being convicted on a 5-year sentence for sexual assault on a minor in March 2016, an experienced football agent has emerged to claim that Adam Johnson will have 'no chance' of returning to the top-flight to play football upon his release from prison.
The anonymous agent says that it is highly unlikely that a club will offer the 30-year-old a contract in the future due to fundamental ethical reasons, and the professional representative proceeded to tell Chronicle Live:
“No club in the Premier League will touch him now.
“The likelihood is he will never play top-level football again, not in the UK anyway. Maybe a lower level championship club or league one might but I doubt it.
“Sponsors are very wary, that’s why no big name clubs who rely on sponsorship will even look at him now.”
Ched Evans - a former Sheffield United striker - found it virtually impossible to find employment in the game following his release from prison after being charged with rape as sponsors threatened to pull-out.
League 2's Chesterfield FC, however, did offer the attacker a place in their squad - Evans was duly acquitted of the charges placed against him, but the stigma of criminality will always remain with him.
The agent then added: “Even lower league clubs will have to think of their female fans, and their reputations, a family friendly club can’t take him on realistically.”
Moving abroad could be the next step for Johnson if he's to play the sport again, although Australia and America would almost certainly be out of the question due to his record, and squads in the Chinese Super League would not look twice at him.
However there is an alternative route for the former Sunderland winger; the agent then continued to state: “Thailand or Singapore would be his best bet,
“He should go there, keep his head down and earn decent money if he can. Playing for anytime in the UK isn’t going to be good for him, at any away game he is going to get grief, it won’t be good for the team.”
Johnson could be released from jail on license next year, so for now at least his future within the footballing realm is yet to be seen, with his once heroic name being heavily tarnished for the rest of his life.