Report: Sunderland chief facing the axe in next 24 hours
By North-west correspondent Harry Sykes
Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne could be sacked in the next 24 hours, according to reports.
The Black Cats CEO has come under fire in the wake of the Adam Johnson child sex scandal, with The Sun reported should could be axed as early as Tuesday.
Byrne is set to discover her fate after returning from a break in Portugal following revelations about her apparent knowledge of the crimes of Johnson.
She left her Sunderland home on Tuesday morning in a people carrier driven by staff in Sunderland club uniform.
Sunderland confirmed she had documents in May of last year which, it was said in court, included Johnson’s confession to kissing and grooming a 15-year-old schoolgirl.
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He was later convicted of a more serious charge of sexual activity with a child and now faces up to 10 years in prison.
The club are set to make an announcement on the furore which has engulfed them in light of the revelations about Byrne and her alleged knowledge of Johnson’s crimes.
She is under pressure to quit or reveal exactly what she knew about Johnson’s guilt.
Shadow sports minister Clive Efford said on Sunday: ‘Sunderland have got some questions to answer.
“In employment law you don’t have to have beyond any shadow of a doubt, you can take reasonable action.
“If there were concerns, they should have held up the suspension (he was suspended on March 2 for two weeks after his initial arrest) and not reinstated him.
“I think it’s quite clear, in terms of safeguarding young children, I would say the club had no choice but to act and not restore him to the team.
“Sunderland were in possession of enough evidence to seriously question whether they were being told the truth.
“There judgement, at best, is left wanting here. They should be giving clear answers to this to draw a line under this.”