Late last month, news emerged that Liverpool reserve fullback Jon Flanagan had been charged with assault and given an early January date in court. At the time, there was no information of any kind as to the specifics of the case and what actions Flanagan had taken to earn those charges.
Today, with the 25-year-old in court, we know at least a few of the details. We know that extensive CCTV evidence of the incident exists and the player has pled guilty, and we know that it was an assault on a woman Flanagan was in a relationship with at the time of the incident.
We also know it was an incident that went beyond a simple heated exchange in public or even an unfortunate but brief confrontation, instead involving an extended assault that took place over a span of minutes. It’s up to Liverpool to do the right thing and terminate the player’s contract.
“I have been given a detailed breakdown of that CCTV footage which shows that you assaulted this young lady not just once but on several occasions during that few minutes in the early hours, once involving your foot,” said Judge Wendy Lloyd at the conclusion of the case.
The judge, who at other times referred to the assault as “prolonged,” then requested the Probation Service’s involvement. They will be tasked with recommending a sentence, which could be up to six months in jail, though it is not expected that Flanagan would end up serving jail time.
From the time news of Flanagan’s arrest and court date became public, Liverpool have insisted that they would make no comment on the matter while the case was ongoing. Given Flanagan’s guilty plea and the serious nature of the assault, though, there can be no argument for keeping him on the club’s books.
If he is to have a future in football and, inevitably, a series of generous redemption stories written about how he overcame the setback of committing an extended, prolonged assault against a person he was in a relationship with, let that come with him on the books of some other club.