Former Everton player will not be charged

14/04/2023 103comments  |  Jump to last

The former Everton player arrested in 2021 on suspicion of child sex offences has been cleared of any potential charges it is being reported.

The player, who isn't named for legal reasons, was suspended by Everton following his arrest and did not play for the club again as protracted investigations into the case saw the unnamed player's bail extended on multiple occasions.

His contract at Goodison Park expired last summer but he has not been free to find a new club as he was placed under a travel ban by police which prevented him from pursuing a rumoured move to Turkey last year.

A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: "The investigation team and Crown Prosecution Service have been working together and reached the decision that the evidence available at this time does not reach the threshold set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

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"Greater Manchester Police is committed to investigating allegations to secure the best possible outcomes for all involved and will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure individuals are supported throughout investigations and beyond."


Reader Comments (103)

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Peter Carpenter
2 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:42:23
Didn't we know it would end like this?

Hope he can sue them.

Barry Hesketh
3 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:56:31

Probably little chance of anybody being able to sue as the statement below, indicates a lack of evidence available at this time.

A statement from Greater Manchester Police read: 'The investigation team and Crown Prosecution Service have been working together and reached the decision that the evidence available at this time does not reach the threshold set out on the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Charles Brewer
4 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:03:05
So "an Everton player who has been suspended for 2 years but cannot be named" has been exonerated. If so, and there really is nothing there, his career has been ruined by the police and investigating authorities who appear to have taken an inordinate time.

Could be interesting developments...

Ian Horan
6 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:06:52
Sad state of affairs for our former player, 2 years of his career lost and for the club a lost asset of the bank balance!! It’s crazy other clubs have players under investigation for alleged rape yet they continue to play them!!
Mark Ryan
7 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:18:05
Very unfair. Whilst not proven to be guilty, whilst not in prison and whilst able to do his job he has been hung out to dry and suspended from working.

Meanwhile, Ivan Toney, who has been found guilty on his own admissions for betting irregularities plays on and is helping Brentford stay in the PL.

Very skewed. I appreciate they are miles apart in terms of the alleged offence but is it fair ? I don't think so

Paul Hewitt
8 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:18:10
So for nearly 2 years they have ruined a bloke's life, put him through hell. Disgraceful.
John Keating
9 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:18:20
Yes, all charges dropped and no further action.

I appreciate the allegations were serious and had to be looked into but the damage done to "the player who cannot be named", his family, and our club is incalculable.

Basically, a complete fuck-up!!

Tony Everan
10 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:36:34
The lack of evidence should have been apparent after a month. Two years to come to this conclusion is unacceptable.
Kevin Molloy
11 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:49:17
It's an outrage. He's had his life ruined for nothing.
John Chambers
12 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:10:16
We should have done the same as a certain North London club are doing this season, innocent until proven guilty.

At least 2 years of a player's career lost, probably more as I suspect he’ll find it hard to get a meaningful contract.

Presumably we had to pay him when he was suspended so that has probably cost the club £5M, or more if we could have sold him while he still had a year left on his contract.

Impact on CPS: nothing. Scandalous that it can take so long…

Alan McGuffog
13 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:23:58
Was this individual ever charged with these allegations? If not, was there any obligation, moral or otherwise, for the club to have pursued the action it did?

Would other clubs have reacted in a similar vein?

Michael Kenrick
14 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:54:05
What an utter disgrace.

I've made my feelings known on this absolute travesty of 'justice' all along since the ridiculous decision taken by the club unilaterally (as far as I can tell) to suspend the player – who astoundingly still cannot be named 'for legal reasons' that no-one seems able or willing to elucidate.

Why did the club not bend over backwards to protect his identity — especially if he 'cannot be named for legal reasons'??? Surely there was absolutely no need to suspend him, if they had the option to completely avoid doing anything whatsoever to provide any kind of identifying clues of any kind, and instead acted as they should have done to protect his identity.

Yes, I know with social media it would have been all over the place in any event... but that is not the point. The point should be (1) "innocent until proven guilty", and (2) identity protected at all costs. The utter incongruity of the club stepping forward of their own volition and announcing that they had suspended some unnamed player – for what exactly? – can only be the utmost in crass virtue signalling of the worst possible kind – guaranteed as it was to destroy at a stroke what remained of the professional football career of one of our better players at the time.

How much of an impact this atrocious episode had on creating the environment of a team in free-fall toward relegation that season is anyone's guess, and yes, perhaps that could not have been foreseen, but the lasting consequences of this sad and sorry episode leave a very very bitter taste in the mouth.

I remain and will always be utterly ashamed of the disgusting behaviour of Everton Football Club in this case, and especially the personnel who made the critical decision to announce to the world for no good reason whatsoever, that they had suspended one of their players in response to the action of the police.

Brian Williams
15 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:01:49
Well, the "club's" decision sums up our board, doesn't it, Michael?

The evidence does not meet the threshold. What they mean is they had only the word of the accuser!

Kevin Molloy
16 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:15:51
Michael yes agreed. Before Everton's reputation fell right into the gutter I had noticed Denise Barrett-Baxendale was often putting out statements of the 'That's not who we are' variety.
Jerome Shields
17 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:16:05
Two years of hell for the player. Things have been that bad – we miss him. Never thought I would say this, but we miss his shots.
Geoff Lambert
18 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:17:41
We would not be where we are now with his goals and assists for the last two years. Only Everton.
Jim Bennings
19 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:18:14
Everton come out of this looking bad as a club too let's face it.

Plus the fact that since he has gone we haven't had a fuckin' midfielder even half as likely to score the same amount of goals.

A complete royal fuck up if ever I seen one.

John Flood
20 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:24:21
Given the nature of the allegations, and the fact that his name was common knowledge all over social media, the club didn't really have any choice but to chose to suspend him from playing.

If we had carried on playing him there would be a circus happening at every game that would only serve as a huge distraction to the team. These were serious allegations and the club's decision has got to be seen in the light of the Saville, Hall, Glitter and Harris cases, where people asked quite rightly why nothing was done sooner.

The big question is why it has taken almost 2 years to come to the decision that there was no case to answer? There is no doubt the player's life both personally and professionally has been ruined by this protracted delay, and Everton have also suffered as a result.

John Pickles
21 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:25:16
For the player, this is never going to go away. Whenever he is spotted in the street, there are going to be sniggers and cruel remarks.

He is going to be just waiting for someone to heckle him:

"Oy you, I know your embarrassing secret. You can't hide, it's definitely you. You're one of those that played in that Everton team under Koeman".

Poor sod!

Ajay Gopal
22 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:31:59
If a normal person were to be in his place, they would sue the authorities for loss of income, reputation, etc. If he doesn't, then the maxim ‘silence speaks louder than a thousand words' comes to mind.
Si Cooper
23 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:38:02
According to that statement, he hasn't been exonerated, he's just effectively left in limbo. Some will howl ‘no smoke without fire' but the truth is no one actually knows what is true and what isn't apart from those involved.

The club should have taken the ‘innocent until proven guilty' approach in my opinion and tried to stay neutral.

Barry Hesketh
24 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:41:24
It was a tough call for the club, would the player's mind have been right to play on throughout the two years, whilst he awaited the outcome of the investigation? How would his club mates have reacted?

If he hadn't have been suspended by the club and was ultimately charged with the alleged offence, how much damage to Everton's reputation as a family club would have been done?

It's an utterly sad and sorry affair and nobody comes out of a difficult situation, at all well, not the police, the player, the club, nor the person - if there was one - that made the allegations.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:50:32
Classic case of "He said, she said" and then without evidence which seems to be the case its a question of who you believe.

Trial by social media should be stopped too.

It is far too easy for people to seek their moments of fame by making allegations against someone famous which then colours real allegations as a result.

Its just a shame that the club who were totally innocent had to suffer the greatest loss and the player who should be presumed innocent until proven guilty had his playing career cut short albeit he continued to get a huge wage while biting his nails.

Chris Leyland
26 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:03:20
Ajay, what exactly would someone sue for? They were accused of something, it has been investigated and no further action is being taken. This happens all the time. The police have never released the suspect’s name
It identified him.
Nick Page
27 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:04:37
I knew this was coming. As per usual with the rotting fish that is EFC the silence was deafening. Just add it to the long list of utterly contemptible acts of sabotage committed by the fuckwit Kenwright and his sidekick Barrett-Baxendale.

Totally agree with Michael's conclusion that IT IS virtue signalling of the worst kind. Who's surprised though - these arseholes are more bothered about opening some charity site than the actual football club that is on its arse and falling apart.

Newsflash for Bill - being virtuous and pretending to care doesn't get you points in the Premier League. They have conspired to completely ruin this lad's career, and have cost the football club so dearly. It's heart breaking what they have done. The fans deserve so so much better than you selfish, self-serving bastards.

Constant Jack
28 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:29:38
Hi there, Swansea City fan in peace. Obviously the allegations haven't gone unnoticed by a variety of opposition fans as you would expect …

Being in the legal profession (not police), there were obviously good grounds to arrest him, we have to accept that or it would not have happened. And the statement today on the current situation is open for him to be rearrested in the future, hence the ‘at this time' element of today's narrative.

As to what that refers to it could be anything to who had any computer access and nailing that down or the age of any victims, and of course they can get older and more mature and able to deal with the stress of giving evidence (I am only surmising here) but these are the two most frequent issues for any prosecution.

As for him suing any legal body, the conditions surrounding his arrest would have been well thought through weighed up against the evidence that was had at the time 2 years ago. I doubt he would have any redress there. And if he does believe he has, then would he really want to reopen these wounds?

In his defence, it seems the investigation was prolonged, but again there needs to be thorough information collection. From an Everton point of view as fans, you have every right to be annoyed at the outcome, but at this time he hasn't been exonerated, just had his bail cancelled. He wasn't charged or named in the press despite a lot of people knowing who he was, and to continue to play him would have been a nonsense. To compare this to Ivan Toney is hardly appropriate as these are clearly serious allegations.

He has done a great job at remaining out of the picture and maybe now it's time for him to continue to do so. It's an awful situation that has been left with people still unsure as to what he has done. He now has to decide, does he go for the throat or accept what ‘he' knows and draw a line under it? It's a tough one as a public response by him could open up all sorts of issues for him.

This has to be the worst nightmare facing anyone who, on the face of it, is innocent.

Barry Cowling
29 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:32:04
So typical Everton. We live in a country where you are presumably innocent until proven guilty, it takes no effort to pick the phone up and make allegations about someone, and if that someone is well known, then you are destroying a career.

Two years is unacceptable, I realise covid got in the way, but it doesnt take that long to figure out you don't have enough evidence. Whether he was guilty or not he must be in a pretty bad place now, it always sounded unlikely to be true but unfortunately mud sticks and it's always going to be difficult for him to put it behind him.

It certainly looks like the club just cast him aside and left him to suffer the mental anguish on his own when other clubs have not done the same. Shame on you, Everton.

Paul Swan
30 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:34:00
The problem here was everyone knew who the unnamed player was from the start. That made his position and Everton's untenable.

If they would have not suspended him and tried to make it go away or play it down, as in the other cases hinted at on here, his every appearance would have been a complete circus and given the type of allegations would have left him open to every vigilante and nutter around.

One way or another, this situation was going to be a tragedy for someone either the alleged victim if proven true or the accused himself. I do believe that Everton were dammed if they did or dammed if they didn't take some sort of action.

Steve Shave
31 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:35:37
Never liked him as a player, I think somewhat unfairly I held it against him for the ridiculous fee we paid and seeing it being somehow symbolic of our fecklessness over the years.

I'm not going to say he didn't deserve this or did deserve this given I have no idea of the details, it's possible he acted in a disgusting and illegal way but there was not enough proof to convict so I'm not going to get on my high horse about it either way.

However, the reality is that Everton FC have lost masses and masses of money over this and in my eyes someone else could and maybe should be held to account. We lost not only all the wages we have presumably been paying him this whole time but also a potential (say £10M) transfer fee we could have got for him should we have decided to sell before his contract was up.

Now, if said player had been found guilty with irrefutable evidence against him I would have wanted us to sue his ass off to recoup what we have lost. Now, if someone has just simply stitched him up, they have caused huge damage to him, his family, his reputation and the club. If that is the case, then I feel sorry for him and feel angry on behalf of Everton FC.

Crazy situation.

Will Mabon
32 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:38:16
"Club should have taken the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach in my opinion and tried to stay neutral."

Agreed - as far as that can go. Continuing with him in the playing staff was obviously not possible whatever the realities. It's understandably a hugely emotive thing and the flames are massively fanned in the court of public opinion. No retractions or apologies later.

I think a statement reflecting that the player and club have arranged ongoing leave for him to meet the legal obligations or similar is more fair and balanced - but then this and the club would likely be attacked. It's a total media melee. I think too much is released or "leaked" from official channels today too.

"Trial by social media should be stopped too."

Amen to that. Say certain wrong words or call someone the wrong name - ton of bricks. Flagrantly libel someone... OK.

Pete Neilson
33 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:42:32
Something terribly wrong with a process that takes nearly 2 years and along the way ruins an innocent person's life and reputation. I get the feeling the police and CPS get obsessed with the potential of a celebrity scalp.

On top of the lack of apology is the threat of “the evidence available at this time does not reach the threshold”. Disgraceful.

Roger Helm
34 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:51:58
Disgrace it took so long to investigate and come to a decision. Many players have been falsely accused so they should play until found guilty.

Can we re-sign him? On a lowish wage, he could do a job for us in the squad.

Neil Lawson
35 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:52:09

He was not acquitted of charges. It appears that the CPS concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge him with any offence. They would have been in close liason with the Police throughout much of the 2-year investigation.

We may never know the details of the allegations nor the precise reasons why, ultimately, the decision not to proceed was made. What it is fair to conclude is that the career of a prominent footballer, and his reputation, have been destroyed.

The fact that it has taken so long to get to this stage is appalling and unacceptable. I do hope that there will be a clear and comprehensive explanation for the sake of everyone affected.

Soren Moyer
36 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:10:23
As in the case of wrongful VAR decisions, expect an apology!!!
Eric Haworth
37 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:13:15
The way this has been handled by all parties – police, judiciary, defence counsel and not forgetting EFC – has been reprehensible. Having been arrested without charge, he has his passport confiscated, supposedly to prevent him from absconding, which remains in place for almost 2 years, still without charge. Then, with a shrug of the shoulders, the judiciary finally conclude they have insufficient evidence to proceed, having destroyed his career and reputation along the way.

A certain acquaintance of mine, legally represented a certain Man Utd international player, who was similarly accused during his Unitde tenure.

His legal team put in place a Super Injunction which imposed a restriction on all parties involved – police, judiciary, legal teams both prosecution & defence – of all/any public disclosure, and most definitely all/any media publication.

Said player continued to be selected by both Man Utd and his country (having not been found guilty of any alleged crime) prior to the conclusion of all legal aspects of the allegations, in his favour. Finally returning to his homeland at the conclusion of his contract, having been able to continue with his career, and with both his bank balance and reputation in tact.

It's most unlikely that anyone can identify said player, and that's as it should be, given none of the allegations were proven and he was not found to be guilty. Compare this to how the police, judiciary, defence counsel and EFC handled this case.

One word: SHAMEFUL.

Brent Stephens
38 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:21:41
Setting aside for the moment the issue of whether or not the former Everton player should have been suspended by the club, he was apparently bailed, not on remand, which suggests a lower level of possible offence than those on remand.

According to Sky News (Sept 2022) "1,244 people have currently spent more than one year on remand. A total of 219 people have spent more than two years in prison and the number waiting three years or more is 314" – all waiting for their case to be decided.

I suspect many more have been on bail, waiting for their case to be heard. And Ministry of Justice statistics show that around one in five people on remand are not subsequently given a prison sentence.

Sky News: "Penelope Gibbs, from Transform Justice, says the situation is 'getting worse every day'. Around one in 10 are acquitted completely, raising the possibility that growing numbers of innocent people are spending years in prison for crimes they did not commit".

It seems that resources aren't sufficient to dispatch justice to those on remand and those on bail, apart from any industrial action by court staff and barristers.

Chris Leyland
39 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:25:42
Eric - apart from the time taken, how do you possibly know anything about how the police have handled this case? Similarly, the judiciary given that it hasn't actually been to a court?

Defence counsel – what have they done or not done given that this case hasn't been to court?

As for Everton – were you privy to discussions between the club and player? Maybe the player asked for time away to clear his name which the club agreed to?

We don't know anything about this case other than gossip and tittle-tattle.

Tony Everan
40 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:30:07
I agree the club were put in an impossible position by this case. Playing him would have been impossible and detrimental to all. Suspending him has cost us dearly.

Can the CPS please send us a cheque for £15 million for the player's proposed transfer fee and wages and and another say £10m in damages for the club league position, then another £50m in damages to the club's reputation being associated with this. The £75m can be offset against the P&S rules and then we can walk away from this episode where everyone involved has lost.

Mike Connolly
41 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:35:46
Agree with that, Tony, 100%.
David Vaughan
42 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:37:38
From the Police statement today "Officers said they were "committed to investigating allegations to secure the best possible outcomes for all involved".

Apparently that doesn't extend to an innocent individual whose allegation against them could just as easily have been spiteful and who rots away as their reputation dissolves. With no right of reply. Democratic? Protecting all involved? Like fuck.

And meanwhile, his employers treated him as guilty from the off and got rid of him on the quiet. What would Everton do?

Will Mabon
43 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:43:10

The terms of that super injunction are what should be standard procedure right until commencement of trial.

Unnamed for legal reasons – but every other clue and hint fine, to the obvious conclusion.

Will Mabon
44 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:47:43
As for Everton – were you privy to discussions between the club and player? Maybe the player asked for time away to clear his name which the club agreed to?

Chris, I believe the club stated that it suspended the player.

Nick Page
45 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:03:54
Reminds of Dave Jones this whole saga. They (the usual fucking suspects) fucked that man’s life up as well. Scandalous.
Karl Masters
46 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:21:39
All charges dropped. A man's career and reputation down the plug hole. Not to mention the considerable loss to Everton financially and in football terms.

Adds more weight to the conspiracy theorists' view that ‘the authorities' have an Everton agenda after the vocal opposition to the breakaway European Super League….

Christy Ring
47 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:25:21
An absolute disgrace by the Crown Prosecution Service, innocent until proven guilty? The only thing I will say, whether you agree with the club's stance, it would have been impossible for the player to play, considering everyone knew who he was, the abuse at the grounds would have been shocking.

Arsenal have a foreigner who is on bail for rape and still playing, and a previous allegation of rape was quashed because legislation hadn't been in place!

Ben King
48 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:58:07
Not having enough evidence to demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt does not mean he's innocent either.

None of us are privy to details so none of us can actually judge. Much as we think we can.

Proving a crime took place can be spectacularly difficult. Let's not judge the club on this as they were in a ‘no win' situation and judging in hindsight is total folly.

And if he were to be guilty of interfering with a minor (albeit difficult to prove) then I'm glad we took the moral high ground. Presumably there MUST have been some circumstantial evidence that suggested as much (albeit he ‘could' be innocent too). If there was intent without the action then that's still enough for me.

However, none of us knows so sometimes there's subjects out there that we simply aren't qualified to offer an opinion on.

Brian Williams
49 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:01:38

And yet you do.

Tony McNulty
50 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:33:59
Really difficult one this.

However, confining myself to the football angle, what is pretty clear is that we have lost, and for an extended period, a £45M footballer whose track record would suggest 10 goals a season from midfield.

Boy, could we have done with those goals.

Kim Vivian
51 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:34:11
In response to some of the comments I have been reading, I feel obliged to emphasise that (to the best of my knowledge) no charges have actually been brought against our former player – purely allegations (by somebody), however spurious.

The statement "...that the evidence available at this time does not reach the threshold set out on the Code for Crown Prosecutors..." suggests to me that there is something but insufficient for a Crown Prosecution.

Sad as it may seem, I believe as a club we are well off divorced from this whole sordid affair. Shame though, as we could do with a non-maligned midfielder for the run-in this season given the shite Dyche is having to work with.

Brendan McLaughlin
52 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:41:26
Will #42,

That doesn't mean that the decision to suspend wasn't done at the player's request or with his agreement.

Eddie Dunn
53 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:42:31
In regard to the club hanging the player out to dry, it is yet another example of virtue signalling.

We are all aware of the mistakes that our Board have made and this costly one can be added to the list. The player has had two seasons written off at the end of his natural career span. We have been robbed of some important goals and assists at a time when we have been very close to relegation.
It is an absolute mess.

What a surprise… Imagine the internal memos.

Will Mabon
54 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:47:18

Some of what you say is true; some of it may be.

"Not having enough evidence to demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt does not mean he's innocent either."

Having "enough" also results in the conviction of innocent people sometimes.

"Presumably there MUST have been some circumstantial evidence that suggested as much (albeit he ‘could' be innocent too). If there was intent without the action then that's still enough for me."

Presumably, circumstantial, suggested. This is why there is a process and procedure in place – that starts from a point of presumed innocence in this country. People can harbour thoughts of no smoke without fire forever after. Innocent people suffer this all the time.

Incidentally, people are frequently convicted for proven intent to commit various crimes so it would appear there is no evidence to prove intent in this case.

I agree that the club were in a no-win position. Much of the reason for this is the modern culture of public drama pre-trial.

Now here we sit with pretty big losses all round. A mess.

Mal van Schaick
55 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:48:36
An allegation or allegations have been made. A player is suspended and that investigation takes place. The player is on bail and continually re-bailed because of the ongoing investigation and, after a long long time, there is no case to answer. How can this be right, proper and fair for the alleged offender?

Football matters aside concerning the player in question, there must be a course of conduct that the player can take in order to redress his reputation and ask questions of the authorities as to why his life and career has been left in tatters?

Will Mabon
56 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:51:34

You're right, it doesn't – but that's a guess, speculation. The club's statement said otherwise.

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:57:04
Mal #52,

There has been an increasing backlog of cases that need to be handled by the courts, which is presumably why "he" has had to wait on bail for so long, just like hundreds of other people who have either been on bail or on remand for a long time – hundreds having been waiting longer than "him".

CPS staff cuts have very possibly contributed to these delays.

Brendan McLaughlin
58 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:59:23
Will #53

"The club's statement said otherwise"

Surely that's as speculative as my comment? The club confirmed the player had been suspended...t hat's all we know. It may have been done with or without the player's agreement. We simply don't know.

Ernie Baywood
59 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:00:10
Sad state of affairs all round.

As a society, we have to expect these things will be investigated and people taken seriously. At the same time, there seems a huge penalty regardless of guilt or innocence.

Given that those in the justice system know this, you'd think that speed of resolution would be important. 2 years to decide there's not enough evidence is a disgrace.

As for the club, they couldn't win. No-one wins in this situation.

Kieran Kinsella
60 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:06:03

The partey at the center of allegations at Arsenal is also widely known. I don't understand the logic of the "you cannot name a suspect," but you can say where he works, where he lives, his age etc and that it's not the one other player at Everton who seemed to meet the criteria based on those factors.

Surely they should make it that you can't say anything about the suspect at all otherwise it makes a mockery of the situation.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:37:55

No speculation from me; I'm simply going with what is known, available information versus what we don't know.

You said it – we simply don't know. We do know they said they suspended him, nothing more.

Everton can confirm it has suspended a First-Team player pending a police investigation. The Club will continue to support the authorities with their inquiries and will not be making any further statement at this time.

Dale Self
62 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:38:05
A quick check on court standards in England: civil cases determine outcome based on a preponderance of evidence while criminal cases require proof beyond reasonable doubt, right?

Any subtle differences to speak of? I know libel standards are very different.

Will Mabon
63 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:39:50
Keiran ;-)
Paul Birmingham
64 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:48:35
At the end of the day, no player has ever been bigger than the club.

No Everton FC board or chairman, is bigger than Everton FC.

Focus on the game tomorrow, beat Fulham, and keep the same focus for every game, until the end of this season.

Then, and hopefully then, at the end of this season, Everton can start a new era, in the EPL, with a new board.


Ed Prytherch
65 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:55:29
It is a monumental clusterfuck but I am happy for him that his name has been cleared
Brendan McLaughlin
66 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:57:19
Will #59

I agree we don't know if the suspension was agreed or imposed but you seem to be speculating that it was obviously the latter.

I'm admitting I don't know but suggesting there's nothing in the club statement which rules out the possibility that it was mutually agreed as the best course of action for both club and player.

Anthony Dove
67 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:14:18
I have posted a number of times over the shocking treatment of this player both by
the CPS and Everton. I think I only ever got maybe one post in support. Now it has been declared he won't be charged (which is what I always predicted). It's strange how many are now coming out if the woodwork in support of him. Is innocent till proved guilty really such a
bad principle?
Roger Helm
68 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:19:55
The legal profession in this country operates on a completely different timescale to the rest of society. I deal with them a lot and it is quite common for months or even years to go by before anything happens in a case. Then when a court deadline approaches, they wake up and everything is suddenly urgent.

As we know, almost everything to do with the UK government is dysfunctional (apart from the military and the traffic wardens), so put the two together and you end up with a man whose career is ruined, and without any compensation or comeback.

Derek Thomas
69 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:28:26
Justice delayed is justice denied - old proverb.

"Greater Manchester Police is committed to investigating allegations to secure the best possible outcomes for all involved and will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure individuals are supported throughout investigations and beyond." - What ever the fuck that means

'South Yorkshire Police, you've taught us well' - alleged comment by Greater Manchester Police spokesperson.

Ed @ 64; technically yes - but in real terms the mud will stick

Brendan McLaughlin
70 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:32:02
Anthony #66

There have been many, many posts over many months criticising how the matter has been handled by the Club, the police and the CPS.

The fact that your posts received only one supportive reply means absolutely nothing.

Jerome Shields
71 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:36:59
Sigurdsson cleared, as I had posted earlier @112.
Will Mabon
72 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:37:00
Brendan @ 65,

I know what you're saying and yes, I am really insofar as the usually perceived implication and tone of that statement.

The club could as easily have said they will both help authorities and support the player and his family as necessary (him being lawfully innocent at the time), or have arranged ongoing leave for him to meet the legal obligations as I posted earlier, or similar.

Perhaps simply, agreed a suspension - but that is never heard, as it goes against the concept of what a suspension generally conveys.

I'd say the statement did what the club intended: showed itself decisive and reactive to the gravity of the situation. No concession to the player whatsoever.

The discussions behind it, who knows – no information.

Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:56:20
I didn't need to read all of the comments.

Everton hung him out to dry when they could have stood by him. Not surprisingly, cowardly and shithouse behaviour by this current passive and submissive regime.

Innocent until proven guilty. Don't shy away from the truth.

The player should now sue. The club, if it had any balls, should question loss of a player that could have made a big difference.

I don't mind mentioning his name as we know who it is, but had Sigurdsson been available last season and potentially this one, I doubt we'd have been in the situations we have been in and are in now.

Most importantly, I hope the individual can now rebuild his life with his family.

Everton pretty much abandoned him. It fell into the all too difficult to deal with and awkward pile. They washed their hands of him. It's shameful treatment in my view. Submissive rather than standing up and fighting. Why should I be surprised?

Meanwhile once terrace idol Graeme Sharp will probably avoid Goodison by choice tomorrow when many of us will be there to support the team, many travelling, others getting up at ungodly hours to watch.

They really don't deserve us. But they have us. And it's our club, not theirs. Sooner rather than later, that is going to be realised.

Lets get through tomorrow and this season.

David West
74 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:58:17
Why don't we buy Sigurdsson back?? I mean, it can't be worse than getting Alli back.

As Jerome says, we might get a shot from midfield. Maybe score a free kick!

Jerome Shields
75 Posted 14/04/2023 at 23:08:27
Neil l#34,

Took that from a headline.

But what you say is true. These type of cases, more often than not, always end up with that kind of result .Two years of hell and the party accused is happy to walk away and never seeks redress. It happens every day now.

It has now become quite common for the male partner to find himself accused as a tactic to break the bond with the kids. A year of fighting to see them, then supervised visits and cleared after 2 years. Redress never sought because, at last, the hell is over.

Robert Tressell
76 Posted 14/04/2023 at 23:08:48
None of us have a clue about any of this – about whether the club handled it right or not. We don't know and never will.

Barry Rathbone
77 Posted 14/04/2023 at 23:17:28
Delighted for the player the impact on him and his family must have been immeasurable. What Everton did or didn't do is of no consequence – some things go way beyond the plastic angst of football fandom this lad had his life on hold for 2 years.

Good luck, Siggy.

Seb Niemand
78 Posted 14/04/2023 at 23:27:06
Couldn't be named yet he has disappeared from the face of the earth in Football Manager database updates. A name made very conspicuous in its absence.
Chris Corn
79 Posted 14/04/2023 at 23:55:57
Danny, always respected your views. You've clearly put the hard yards in serving our country. However, I will reveal I am a mid-level criminal justice officer in our fair city.

There is a threshold of evidence that the CPS need in order to charge. Effectively the prosecution need to prove it happened beyond a reasonable doubt. That doesn't mean that it never happened.

Also doesn't mean it did happen. Don't speculate. All parties will have to put it behind them and move on.

Serious stuff this. Beyond all that football is about. Believe me.

Don Alexander
80 Posted 15/04/2023 at 01:06:34
Sigurdsson was arrested as a suspected purchaser/user of paedophile pornography.

I used to work in criminal law. Paedophile pornography is almost always circulated on the internet. It takes considerable amounts of time and money to try to find out from where in the world such illegal content originated. A criminal case requires that.

Then there's the extremely distasteful enterprise of trying to identify the identity and age of the various anuses, vaginas and mouths depicted. I've had to try to do that. It's hideous but a UK criminal case requires that too.

So, Sigurdsson aside, we have a system in this country where lives can be ruined by our very lengthy, underfunded, inadequately staffed legal investigative "system" (for many years).

Dave Jones was accused of non-internet offences yet it took the authorities yonks at that time to exonerate him. I believe it damaged his life. He's never received redress.

Whether or not Sigurdsson is as truly innocent as Davey was is known by Sigurdsson alone.

And if he truly is, that's very tough on him.

Kieran Kinsella
81 Posted 15/04/2023 at 02:47:36

I'm not saying you're wrong and maybe you've better info than me. But the story I heard from a Manchester journalist before the story broke and from Everton fans after it did was that the suspect engaged a prostitute who was underage and he may or may not have realized that. Then her family tried to blackmail and he contacted the cops on account of the alleged blackmail but obviously the cops were like “blackmail apart – she's a minor.”

Thereafter, the case collapsed as you basically had alleged criminals on either side of the equation. So being generous it sounds like a honey trap with a girl made to look older? But as I say you may know more than me; I don't have any first-hand information.

Eric Myles
82 Posted 15/04/2023 at 03:29:48
Could his wages and 'lost' transfer fee be claimed as part of our uncrystallised losses for the Independent Committee looking at the P&S breach allegation???
Christine Foster
83 Posted 15/04/2023 at 04:18:07
Kieran, that's exactly the story I heard from family back in Liverpool 18 months ago – a honey trap but the suspect went to the police to report it as blackmail.

Don is right in that there is probably no way in hell that anyone can confirm or deny age-related porn on the internet, but the names of those buying it is trawled through by criminal gangs and cyber theft. There can't be many well-known people with his name...

Is prostitution illegal? Of course under age is, but can you see any man asking for a birth certificate first??

As for the club – shameful. They were more afraid of the mud sticking to them than facts – or even support…
why am I never surprised anymore by this club?

As for the police... 2 years to say we haven't got enough to prosecute and he will face no further action seems to indicate the matter is concluded. Rather than he doesn't have a case to answer, they say there isn't enough evidence of a wrongdoing to prosecute.

They may well have ruined a life, cost a club millions of pounds and put him through hell for 2 years. Disgraceful by police and club, I believe a civil case against the accusers could be brought? But the damage has been done. The club and the police should apologise to the player and the police to the club.

The club should sack the individual concerned whose decision it was to suspended the player, for costing the club his value and his loss to the club.

Danny O’Neill
84 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:25:14
Chris, Don, Christine,

A good friend of mine worked / ran the Met Police area that explored internet paedophilia and sought to prosecute perpetrators.

Notwithstanding the disturbing things he saw in the line of his work, one of his biggest challenges was dealing with staff who were frequently traumatised having to go through evidence to trace these creatures.

Back on subject and without downplaying the subject, did the club over-react when others didn't seem to?

Constant Jack
85 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:25:10
From the Police statement today: "Officers said they were committed to investigating allegations to secure the best possible outcomes for all involved".

The police obviously did this as he wasn't charged and they will have investigated the alleged crimes with a view to not only securing evidence to prosecute but to disprove those allegations. At times, the police can't do right for doing wrong in some people's eyes.

Bob Parrington
86 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:25:36
Christine, I agree completely with what you have written. We could have done with his presence in the team over the last 2 seasons. It is a shame on those who contrived to leave him out of contention. Seems we have a new UK legislation that is now 'Guilty until proven Innocent'.

As I wrote to a fellow ToffeeWebber in the UK earlier today – His career has been ruined and he likely has a case to sue 'some organisation' for damages and potential loss of income.

Too many do-gooder woke people around these days. driving me crazy.

Derek Knox
87 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:45:35
Since the name that shall not be mentioned now can be, am I right in thinking he was suspended while this fruitless investigation was under way? Presumably on full pay (sigh!), then found not guilty as no case to answer for.

His contract ended so he goes as a free agent, to sign for whomever? There seems to be only one loser in all this: Everton FC and the fans, all the legal people whether that be Defence or Prosecution all get paid for preparation of a non-case. The player picks up chunks every week, while we are totally deficient of his creativity in midfield, and resort to playing donkeys like Dogshit Davies and company.

In the words of a Joe Brown and the Bruvvers song "What a Crazy World We are Living In". No wonder we are in the financial whirlpool we find ourselves in, although this couldn't have been foreseen or predicted, but there are plenty of other instances where they have been like Al Bundy dishing out dollars to all and sundry, even the family dog! :-)

Strewth Bruce! COYB 💙💙👍

Ray Roche
88 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:02:11
Christine, Don, Kieran,

Shortly after the news broke about this unnamed footballer and his ‘crime’, I played in a golf charity match with three policemen, one retired. The honey trap/blackmail scenario was told to me back then, two years ago. His only crime appeared to be contacting someone who turned out to be underage, but apparently looked years older. Two years is a disgraceful length of time to come to a conclusion.

Michael Kenrick
89 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:23:37
For those defending the club's action in suspending him, or at least giving them the benefit of any doubt, considering the nature of the charges and the supposedly predictable repercussions should he have continued to play for Everton, I believe the approach described by Eric Howarth at #37 provides an example of what could and indeed should have been done to fully protect his identity – instead of this pitiful joke that "he can't be named for legal reasons".

I think it's reasonable to ask why this was not done. Why did the club not realise on the evidence of previous cases that this would not be resolved quickly?

Why did they see the need to publish anything whatsover and thus actively participate in his 'outing', despite whatever legal reasons supposedly existed that he could not be named?

Why did they choose this path rather than protecting their asset by way of a supper injunction or whatever means was clearly available, at least until (and only if) the case eventually got to court?

We've had a few posters on this thread citing a legal background or professional experience in that realm. I was not able to find what legal requirement, restriction or – as Lyndon now claims – 'media convention' exists in this regard of him not being named. Anyone care to indulge me in explaining where this is written?

Jeff Armstrong
90 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:30:34
A lot people know the identity of the Arsenal player cited, but a lot don’t know too.
From what I’ve seen and heard on TV,he gets hardly any abuse from the terraces, could the club have handled our case similarly instead of outing him from the start?
James Hughes
91 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:34:20
Ray #88 In my part of the world, London /Essex borders. That was the scenario I was told by several friends with the 'joke' sent to me many times.
That wasn't a young girl seen getting out the car it was Tom Davies!
My god those WHU fans love a larf
Jerome Shields
92 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:45:47
It is standard procedure in all Safeguarding policies for organisations in the UK, to suspend anyone who is accused of abuse, pending investigation. For a footballer this would include fan contact Two years is the standard time to conduct such a investigation in the UK.I agree the identity of the individual involved could have been handled better by Everton.

Yeah, I know those that are accused go through hell, particularly if innocent and the situation is unclear for them regarding evidence.

A Solicitor friend tells me that his advice to any client if cleared after coming through such a investigation is to move on and walk away


I can only speculate that case is different in some way, not knowing the facts.

Colin Metcalfe
93 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:57:34
Imagine if we had the unmentionable one, Dele and James at the height of their powers what a midfield that would have been and yet we ended up with Gana, Doucoure, Iwobi and a slightly underwhelming Onana oh well life goes on as they say.
Christine Foster
94 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:10:19
Colin, we are in the realms of what if... but I would rather have a fading super star with everything we don't have, than journeymen and championship players.
Rooney (The Return), James or even Alli.. can we honestly hand on heart say that ANY of our midfield is better than them?
Christy Ring
95 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:31:29
Partey is still playing with Arsenal, and not a word said, but in my opinion when our player was suspended and the media mentioned 'underage', his career was finished, and even if the club stood by him, his reputation was finished and the abuse from the terraces would have been horendous, but as Kieran said, if it was to do with a prostitute who he didn't know was a minor and tried to blackmail him, and he reported it to the police at the time, would it not have saved his career if the truth had come out back then, instead of everyone thinking, including myself, that it was to do with child porn, and why did it take 2 years if it was one incident.
James Marshall
96 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:37:19
Partey's offence allegedly happened outside the UK (Ibiza) - and thus the law here applies slightly differently. Hence (I assume) why he's still playing, pending further investigation. It was also with his then partner, who he was due to marry, then backed out, and she subsequently has made very public (on Instagram) claims he assaulted her.

One of the Partey charges has already been dropped BTW.

Nothing here is black & white, so using other cases to prop up an argument about our unnamed 31yr old, doesn't really hold much weight.

Mark Taylor
97 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:44:32
Jerome 92

Then perhaps the problem here is the standard operating procedure that requires anyone accused of something to be suspended, given that can take years and destroy someone's life. The status quo here is absurd. So is the police statement; 'to secure the best possible outcome for all involved'. That clearly hasn't happened.

Suspending a footballer but then saying you won't name him for confidentiality reasons is another absurdity. That simply cannot work in practice.

If it really isn't possible to conclude no further action sooner than a couple of years, then investigations have to be private not publicly announced, and the individual has a right to continue to work unless and until charged and indeed in this case the employer has a right not to suffer financial loss until that point.

Ray Roche
98 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:48:05

I haven’t seen the ‘joke’ to which you refer or the photo of Davies.

My information came face to face with serving policemen.

Alan J Thompson
99 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:03:02
I'm not sure what can be done about any part of it but it seems that all parties are damned if they do, damned if they don't and damned if they didn't but if you can protect the identity of one then you must extend that to all parties.
Will Mabon
100 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:27:39
"by way of a supper injunction..."

Michael, come on, Man.

I understand this event naturally draws strong opinion but we all have to eat, and sometimes this is in the late evening or night.

Jerome Shields
101 Posted 15/04/2023 at 13:16:08

It is absurd but that is the way it is.It is a system that evolved after years of abuse that was covered up and hidden, with collusion amongst individuals, organisations and the authorities.

It is open to abuse in that when a couple breakup in some cases, the male partner finds the police knocking on his door and being taken to the police to be questioned.He then finds that his partner has accused him of abusing the Children.He is barred from going home to the house or seeing his children. It then takes a year of legal process to get to see his children in a neutral location, observed by two social workers for one year.It is only then he able to get his visiting rights after being found innocent. He will be out alot of me money going throught the process. This is happening all over the UK.

Sigurdsson had the money to fight the case and he could go home to Iceland for a break.He did not have to fight for viewing right.

The other thing is the database for sexual offenders prosecuted he huge and being added to on a daily bases, meaning alot are being caught and punished by the process.I know a policeman who is a Sergeant in a Abuse investigation unit, who tells me everything has to be thoroughly investigated, because you do not know what it will turn up.He says nothing surprises him and he still can be shocked.

Kim Vivian
102 Posted 15/04/2023 at 13:45:52
Seems like he may have taken a fall for simply being a very, very, silly boy. Christ, I understand male urges 'n' all that, but to employ the services of a hooker - I mean..fuck! have you seen his wife?
Mick Davies
103 Posted 16/04/2023 at 18:22:23
Mason Greenwood's case was investigated and dismissed in 12 months, even though he broke his bail conditions, and all the evidence pointed towards his guilt. It certainly does look like there is a hierarchy where justice is concerned. It's just a pity GS didn't have a wealthy mother who could pay £12m to the courts to have her son's case thrown out
Matt Traynor
104 Posted 17/04/2023 at 03:28:05
According to a tabloid news article today, the Unmentionable One is considering suing the police. Not sure on what grounds.
Ray Jacques
105 Posted 17/04/2023 at 12:59:21
Nice that the gutless board stood by our player, whoever it may be.

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