Jon Flanagan has escaped instant dismissal from Liverpool due to the club's belief they hold responsibility in aiding his rehabilitation following the player's guilty plea to assaulting his girlfriend earlier this week, according to reports.
The 25-year-old was handed a 12-month community order at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after admitting the attack on his partner of 18 months, Rachael Wall, following a drunken row.
While no police statement was made by the England international's partner, CCTV footage showed the Reds academy graduate pushing Ms Wall into a wall twice before aiming a kick at her body when she slumped to the floor, which prompted the prosecution.
It was suggested that following Flanagan's guilty plea, and their condemnation of their player's actions, Liverpool chiefs were unsure on whether to allow the full-back to remain with the club.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the player’s actions during the events that took place resulting in this criminal conviction", a statement from the club read, quoted via the Liverpool Echo.
“It leaves his own reputation damaged and, through association, he has severely let down the club he had previously represented with distinction.
Liverpool have told Jon Flanagan he won’t be sacked following his conviction for assaulting his girlfriend.— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) January 18, 2018
“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."
But despite their statement, according to the Liverpool Echo, the Englishman is set for an Anfield stay, until the summer at least, due to the north west side seeing themselves holding responsibility in the 25-year-old's rehabilitation.
The report claims that the defender's own instant admission of guilt and subsequent contrition and remorse were all factors in the club’s decision, while the reaction of his disappointed family and agent, Bradley Orr, have also helped his cause.
The article does suggest, however, that Flanagan may well have played his final game for his boyhood club, with a transfer away from Anfield following the end of this campaign likely.