‘A footballer is not above the law’
Simon Jordan believes Adam Johnson should be made an example of, as a cautionary tale for youngsters that footballers are not above the law.
The former England winger will reportedly leave HM Prison Moorland on March 22 after serving half a six-year sentence handed to him in March 2016.
Johnson, who was sacked by Sunderland a month before being jailed, was found guilty by a majority verdict of grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15.
Jonathan Rose, the judge presiding over the case, claimed Johnson’s ‘calculated, considered and carefully orchestrated’ abuse of his celebrity status left the girl with ‘severe psychological harm’.
As well as his prison sentence, Johnson was also placed on the sex offender register for the remainder of his life.
After Labour MP Clive Efford told talkSPORT Johnson should not be allowed to play football again, former Crystal Palace owner Jordan conceded society is flawed and the footballer’s crimes should be heeded by the stars of tomorrow.
He told Jim White on talkSPORT: “We live in a flawed society and this concept of role models, having been a football club owner and understanding the importance of a football player’s representation of the club and his value to the community and all that goes with it, we do live in a flawed society.
“And this idea that role models have to be something that aren’t really reflective of society, I think is slightly skewed.
“And you look at the dynamic of what this has actually done for young people.
“This is a cautionary tale of the highest order. This highlights the point that a footballer is not beyond the law and brings this to the fore; if you behave in a fashion which is socially and anyway unacceptable, you will not evade justice.
“And we have to look at society as a rehabilitative culture as well. If you look at the employers like Timpson’s that have a whole plan about rehabilitating offenders back into the workplace.
“We have to look at the reality of what society we want, without necessarily excusing the nature or the seriousness of the crime.”