Everton suspend first-team player amid police investigation

Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 81comments  |  Jump to last
Everton have confirmed that they have suspended a first-team player pending an investigation by police.

A brief statement by the club went on to say that they will continue to support the authorities with their inquiries and would not be making any further statement at this time.

The bulletin from the club came in the wake of a report by the Daily Mail that a Premier League club had suspended a 31-year-old player due to a inquiries by police.


Reader Comments (81)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 18/07/2021 at 20:36:37
The absolutely disgusting rumours about ********** are just that, disgusting.
This is why I hate social media because any scumbag can post anythig they want and any number of halfwits will spread it until the number of halfwits becomes big enough to make it fact.

Can't wait until people have to provide certifiable identification in order to post on these sites. That'll hopefully curtail the shite that some post and get away with.

Bobby Mallon
2 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:26:47
Married Premier League player arrested on suspicion of child sex offences, with club suspending the 31-year-old while police investigate the allegations Mail online.
Tom Harvey
3 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:29:09

What's the source?

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:33:58
That rumour has been doing the rounds since yesterday, Bobby.
Dave Lynch
5 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:40:42
Says the arrest was made by Greater Manchester Police.

Anyone got any idea where he resides?

Bobby Mallon
6 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:42:17
It’s not a rumour it’s on mail online Manchester police have arrested a 31 yr old premiership player on child sex offender charges
Bobby Mallon
7 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:43:41
Tom Harvey
8 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:43:55
Bobby Mallon

Ok found it.

Andrew Ellams
9 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:50:06
The arrested Premier League player story has been picked up by a few of the tabloids now
Bobby Mallon
11 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:52:27
Because it was rumoured about one man.
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:52:52
FFS hopefully he’s innocent otherwise he’s a sick son of a bitch who needs locking up. Never much liked him as a player but this goes way beyond football to just disturbing criminal activity
Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:56:20

TBH I thought of the England right back first (terrible thing to suspect someone of I know) but he’s on holiday.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:57:11
No further comment from me on this rumour. If true it’s fucking disgusting but he’s innocent until proven guilty.
Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 19/07/2021 at 22:58:23
If it is true, imagine explaining that to your kid wearing his name on a shirt? Just shocking!
Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:00:03
We shouldn't speculate and as Colin rightly says an accusation doesn't automatically mean that a person is guilty of anything.

Exclusive Mail

Soren Moyer
17 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:03:56
It appears it's **********! According to Reddit posts his wife suddenly has deleted her Instagram too!

Any chance of him being Jordan Henderson?

Dave Lynch
18 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:04:40
His wife has vehemently denied it's him on another news feed.

Stated its Twitter talk.

Surely she wouldn't deny it if he was guilty.

Just read your post Soren FFS, lock him up if it's him.

Kevin Dyer
19 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:05:18
Let's not get into trial by social media, Soren.
Barry Hesketh
20 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:15:45
To echo another website:

Remember, there is an active case going on. Be careful with what you post - things could potentially prejudice active cases.

Jason Li
21 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:16:01
I've just seen online he's with the same pretty wife. I just can't believe it's **********.
Jay Wood

22 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:24:09
Marvellous. Trial by social media. And on such a serious charge, too. Save it for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I hope some of you are never called up for jury duty based on how quickly you are to presume who the offender is and to cast judgement on him without confirmation of that fact or the charges.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:52:16
Soren, way out of line, sir. Highly improper speculation. Stop.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
24 Posted 19/07/2021 at 23:55:36
As there is an active investigation and the name of the individual concerned has not been released by the authorities, we will be removing any comments naming the alleged offender.

This is for your own legal protection as well as being the right thing to do until we have more information.

Please be very careful what you post.

Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 20/07/2021 at 00:20:14
The sole published source of the accusation so far is Adam Brown, a Spanish-based YouTube football commentator (Football With Brownie), who is in turn quoted by a low-quality news aggregation website called global247news.com, which has the accusation smeared all over its home page.

Steve Griffiths
26 Posted 20/07/2021 at 00:25:47
The club have just released a statement on the club website
Andy Smith
27 Posted 20/07/2021 at 00:26:41
There is now a club statement on official site confirming the suspension of a first-team player
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 20/07/2021 at 00:54:37
That would be one sickening step closer to confirmation of the rumor.
Bobby Mallon
29 Posted 20/07/2021 at 01:00:30
Fucking gutted if it turns out to be true.
James Flynn
30 Posted 20/07/2021 at 02:37:59
Lyndon (299) - Thank you for that.

Everton USA on FaceBook has a large following here in the States. They've also cut off comments on the situation.

Soren Moyer
31 Posted 20/07/2021 at 02:41:46
Thanks Lyndon. That was the right thing to do.
Eric Myles
32 Posted 20/07/2021 at 03:34:18
We have only 3 first team players about that age.
Andrew Ellams
33 Posted 20/07/2021 at 07:45:20
Steve, if ********** (if it is him) is guilty then his contract will surely be terminated. If innocent I would think there is a good chance he will decide to move on to distance himself from the whole thing.
Ron Marr
34 Posted 20/07/2021 at 07:58:30
Read Lyndon’s post.
Steve Shave
35 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:14:21
Thanks Ron - annoying we can't discuss this as it is hugely relevant.
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:32:15
Lyndon, I totally agree mate. Nobody knows the proper circumstances of this investigation so it's better left alone for now, especially because it's such a complex situation the player finds himself in right now, and if he's guilty, he will rightly get proper destroyed in time.
Darren Hind
37 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:55:35
Oh FFS say it aint so
Jon Wit
38 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:56:56
Hmm, drink-driving, assault ? We've had a few over the years.
Michael Lynch
39 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:58:51
Well this one has come out of left field (or should I say centre mid field?) but, whatever the legal outcome, it does look like we'll be missing both him and RIcharlison for the start of the season.
Jon Wit
40 Posted 20/07/2021 at 08:59:21
Hopefully not true.
David Pearl
42 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:07:36
Possible texts. Innocent till proven otherwise. We know nothing.

Iwobi may now get a chance in that no. 10 role, that's if James moves on.

As it stand we will now rely on 2 new wide players to feed our only available striker.

Kunal Desai
43 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:08:33
Supposedly our club record signing. Doing the rounds on social media on Sunday.

Club is a mess on and off the field. Carlo made the right move getting out of here.

Paul Hewitt
44 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:10:58
Premier League player has been arrested on child sex offences.
Frank Wade
45 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:14:00
Kunal "The experienced international star, who cannot be identified for legal reasons." Keep names out of it.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
46 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:14:02
Please forgive me for being somewhat puzzled by what appears to be going on here.

The facts seem to be simple and now irrefutable: Police have arrested a Premier League player on child sex offenses. And Everton have supended a senior player pending a police investigation. The player can't be named "for leagal reasons".

Meanwhile speculation on social media, fuelled by a report from a football podcaster, has openly named that player, and what he is accused of – texting under-age girls.

We are then told to "be very careful what we post" and a decison is made to turn off comments on this thread, despite it being put up as headline news and, I would venture, something of extreme importance to Everton Football Club, and to us, the fans of that club and its players – something this entire website is dedicated to.

The player has been named on social media. The cat is out of the bag. We have a number of posts naming him, from as early as Sunday, when rumours first appeared on other social media platforms and our readers started to post comments.

I am in the privileged position to see what posts have been deleted, and they are only three in number that name the player. Another seven that also name the player, including the first one posted, have not been deleted.

I'm curious about the legal points here: if we are not allowed to speculate, then surely all posts related to this topic should be deleted and all discussion forbidden? Or only ones stating his name? By now, it is very obvious to anyone who has followed up on this, exactly which of our players has been suspended. It would become increasingly obvious when we start playing pre-season friendlies.

Under what legal restraint are we to limit discussion of the issue and its potential implications to our club, our team, our prospects for the season? Enough of the virtue signalling – what are the real legal issues and ramifications for posters discussing this?

Frank Wade
47 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:19:28
Michael, maybe our resident legal eagle Steve Ferns could clarify.
Paul Hewitt
48 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:21:46
Kunal. What a stupid statement. This has got NOTHING to do with the club. Pathetic.
Ernie Baywood
49 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:22:13
Michael, what is there to discuss? His innocence or otherwise? None of us have even the slightest indication of what's happened beyond rumours.

We could discuss the footballing impact but I'm not sure it's relevant. If he's engaged in the kind of things rumoured then who cares about when he'll kick a football?

In terms of impact on the club's brand etc well you don't need to name the guy to have that conversation.

Brent Stephens
50 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:23:13
If the authorities have a reason to not release the name at this point, might there be good reason not to release it?

And if there is good reason for the authorities not to release the name, might that also give good reason not to publicly speculate as to the name???

Kunal Desai
51 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:26:43
Yes Paul. I'm sure Carlo would have stayed around to sign Gray, Townsend and Begovic. Anyway not hijacking this thread on transfers. This just adds to the general malaise and discipline at the club
Ian Burns
52 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:32:54
Apparently the arrest was made AFTER the police had raided the player’s home and searched it.

That of course doesn’t mean he is guilty but my fear is this particular EFC player will not don our shirt again and Benitez couldn’t have envisaged such a harrowing start to his campaign!

Joe O'Brien
53 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:32:55
Kunal what are you on about? The general discipline at the club?
Andrew Ellams
54 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:35:29
Whoever it is and whatever they may or may not be charged with, there is a huge backlog with court hearings in this country after the past 17 months of lockdowns so this could go on for quite a while and it won't be difficult for supporters and media alike to identify a married 31-year-old missing from every matchday squad.

The club and fans are in from a bumpy ride from the rest of the football community, especially from you know where.

Michael Kenrick
55 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:37:22
Brent, I'm just curious of the ridiculous hypocrisy going on here, and if there is really any legal restraint on us discussing the issue. Ernie, there is little to say, I agree... but that doesn't usually stop us!!!

But there have been other cases where it has been illegal to name such persons under UK law, yet they get named by guys in Marbella running a football podcast... and now, everyone knows! But we're all meant to pretend that we don't know who it is? Utter nonsense.

Rob Williamson
57 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:38:52
Innocent until proven guilty. End of. Is it relevant to the club and therefore us, the fans? Certainly. But that doesn't preclude us behaving decently here. The fact that the player has been named on other platforms is irrelevant. Other platforms on other topics use the ‘N ‘ word. Does that make it ok to use it on ToffeeWeb? Of course not.

And, as Lyndon states, we need to be extremely careful here, if any comments are deemed at a later stage to be prejudicial to any future trial.

Sam Hoare
58 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:41:51
Strange and unhelpful connections you're making there Kunal.

If these allegations turn out to be true then the club bears no responsibility for it whatsoever. Let's hope they turn out to be false, though you'd think in a high profile case like this the police would have to be fairly certain of their sources and evidence.

Kevin Molloy
59 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:43:29
Clearly there is some sort of legal reason at the moment for not divulging the identity, possibly a manoeuvre of his lawyer. As it seems to have been successful, I would think websites like ToffeeWeb would be exactly who they had in mind when they were requesting it. So surely best for Tweb to err on the side of caution and be seen to be adhering to the request not to divulge. Otherwise it could potentially face legal action.
Ernie Baywood
60 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:44:42
On the plus side, it made us forget about Benitez's past for a little while.
Paul Richardson
61 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:46:32

As a journalist of 40 years' standing (just about) and a senior editor for at least half that time, the issue is this: If the authorities decide to pursue this, the legal fees you will entail and possible fine (or imprisonment) is not worth the risk of naming the player on the site, even though the vast majority of ToffeeWebbers will know who it is. That's why the Daily Mail only used the Premier League status of the player and age because it casts a wider net, though in my opinion still not wide enough.

The point is, the authorities don't have to apply the law to everyone, they pick and choose the battles they think they can win. So, why open yourself to that possibility?

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:48:12
This is just a grim, life changing nightmare for so many people with no good outcome. Sadly innocent until proven guilty is nothing more than a dead concept today. There are a hell of a lot of people ready to judge.

Michael is right, though, it's out there and will not blow over for a long time. Incredibly sad.

Derek Knox
63 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:48:49
These things can sound a lot worse than they often are in reality, and the media have lit the blue touch paper inviting speculation and counter-speculation, all of it of course without proper foundation.

I sincerely hope that it could be a 'storm in a teacup' but I suppose all will be revealed in due course. After all, that we as a Club have been thorough recently, we could surely do without this, if true, but equally we must avert Trial by ToffeeWeb Jury.

I must hasten to add too, that everything that HAS happened to the Club is by no way attributable to us, the fans, we are just the loyal, but lifelong dedicated mugs who have supported them through thick and thin. Furthermore we should in no way be blamed or indeed be the subject of ridicule by other Club's Supporters either. Unfortunately though, things being as they are in this day and age, Mud Sticks!

Barry Hesketh
64 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:49:28
Anybody saying this is a reflection of the culture at Everton Football Club should give their head a proper wobble. An employer isn't responsible for every action of its employees. It matters not who the person is, but it does matter what people post about the situation and how they couch their views on something none of us know the facts about.

It's a dark day for Evertonians because as I've already seen on many threads on other outlets, the club's name is getting dragged through the mud by association. The individual they are targetting has many memes which are put up to get a couple of laughing emojis etc but no thought is given to the actual possible victim(s) by these sad sacks who post them.

Hopefully, TW's have enough about them not to engage in trite and sickening statements about the situation and will wait for proper details to emerge before making any ill-conceived judgements about the issue.

Brent Stephens
65 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:52:58
Michael #30, yes there is the anomaly that a name might be released outside of UK legal jurisdiction (Marbella), which we can read, but which we can't repeat in UK media... or can repeat but risk legal action against you - your risk.
Ray Roche
66 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:53:44
The Celtic player, Griffiths, was recently under investigation for texting under age girls. He left the club training base. He was subsequently found to have ‘no case to answer’, I believe, and eventually rejoined Celtic. Let’s hope for a similar outcome here.
Ajay Gopal
67 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:56:03
Quite shocking turn of events, and if true, it really puts a question mark on my judgement. I believed that said player to be quite a decent bloke. Hopefully, it is all a misunderstanding, and the Everton player has not done anything criminal.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
68 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:56:05
This news item was posted with comments closed. You, Michael, have chosen to override that decision at your own whim which you had no right to do.

This is not "virtue signalling"; it is, as Paul (40) states, good journalistic practice, potentially prudent from a legal standpoint and, again, the right thing to do. Anyone remember Dave Jones?

It doesn't matter that everyone and his dog knows who we're talking about. There is a process to be followed. This thread will remain closed until further details come to light and the player's identity is made public.

Andrew Ellams
69 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:56:16
The BBC have now confirmed that the player was arrested in connection with child sex offences.
Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:58:23
If the player is eventually found guilty, then I presume the player's suspension becomes permanent and we lose a player who would have played a part in the squad this coming season.

I think it also means Mr Benitez has another £120,000 per week in wages to add to the kitty in signing a replacement. Again, I'm presuming we are no longer liable to pay the remaining part of his contract if found guilty.

Phil Gardner
71 Posted 20/07/2021 at 09:59:49
Well, my phone has erupted with abuse from RS mates. Just before I turned it off I posted that I was off to have some t-shirts printed. Anyone want one?
Mark Ryan
72 Posted 20/07/2021 at 10:04:52
Unless the phone is in the possession of a 3rd party, then there is a significant problem in proving your "innocence".

This could be a simple error of texting the wrong number but highly unlikely and we are all old enough and ugly enough to know that people get caught out all the time with these sort of social media nightmares.

I suspect that, if we have suspended a player, then there is a significant issue whereby we are losing that player for some time – if not permanently. Interviewed is one thing, arrested and being detained another. Forget the name, he's one of ours and it looks very likely that we're going to lose that player. Not the best of news articles.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
73 Posted 20/07/2021 at 10:17:03
Seems thre's two issues here, Lyndon, that you are conflating.

1) Naming the player. Fair enough, if that is restricted legally then we should at least be consistent and delete all occurrences in posts that have carried that social media speculation onto our website. I was shocked to see how many still remained online.

2) Blocking discussion. Why put up a headline story on the website, that has already garnered plenty of discussion elsewhere, and then decide that the topic will not be discussed here under that headline? That makes absolutely no sense. Are you now going to delete all the posts discussing this?

Paul Hewitt
74 Posted 20/07/2021 at 10:17:47
Phil@71. Just remind them of the poor Italian supporters they killed.
Bobby Mallon
75 Posted 20/07/2021 at 10:55:52
I agree that the name of the player we think it is, should not be written here. I just hope it’s not true. But if it is then let the full might of the law do it’s thing.
Daniel A Johnson
76 Posted 22/07/2021 at 18:23:55
Innocent until proven guilty remember everyone.

For one I'm still in shock with it all our suspended player seemed such a genuine nice guy. But the fact his wife has walked out and left home says it all I'm afraid.

I hope it's not true but we will never see him in an EFC shirt again, even if he is found innocent, where will his head be at after such devastating allegations?

Kieran Kinsella
77 Posted 23/07/2021 at 04:37:56
Tony Abrahams

Not sure of your source but my mate is a journalist in Manchester with “sources” in the unit arresting him. Usually they let plenty of info slip but he reckons this time they are stonewalling. I’ve read three contradictory versions of events from “sources” on Twitter. If any are true, best case, we have attempted blackmail a la Matt Gaetz. But even then, if someone tricks you into commiting a crime then blackmails you, does that mean you get a free pass for said crime? I suspect not but maybe Steve Ferns can tell us. My eyesight isn’t what it was but I’m pretty sure I could tell if someone is an adult versus a child regardless of what they claim. There’s also a more bizarre conspiracy story about someone hacking a Twitter account. But would mere Tweets lead to a “very serious” charge? I suspect not based on what Sterling and co just endured.

According to the tabloids Delph is “furious” with Everton releasing the statement he had Covid as it fed into rumors he was the 31 year old married Manc dweller who was arrested. Positive from this is that maybe his anger will cause him to leave? Meanwhile one tabloid claim the team are pressuring the club to name the suspect so as to clear their names. Allegedly the players have been told not to talk the suspect. But one “international” has multiple missed calls from him.

Charles Brewer
78 Posted 23/07/2021 at 10:52:18
Kieran, if one or more of the tabloids are hinting strongly that Delph has been arrested or is in any way implicated in wrongdoing, then he would have an excellent shot at a very profitable libel suit.

For one, he clearly is not the one who has any issues in this matter. Secondly, as a professional footballer actually has both a short career and is highly exposed to public ridicule, insult and attack; in other words, unlike the average Russian oligarch, he actually does have a reputation which, if damaged, would harm him financially very severely.

That said, as a footballer he's a monstrous waste of space.

Steve Ferns
79 Posted 23/07/2021 at 11:05:11
Kieran, best not to discuss those matters on here, certainly not before the matter is done and dusted.

As for your legal query, it is simply not that straightforward, and depends on multiple factors. But basically you are describing the defence of "Duress" which has a very high bar and you basically need the proverbial gun to your head in our to succeed with such a defence.

Or if you mean that said person did not know they committed a crime, then that goes to "mens rea" (latin for 'guilty mind', in other words, 'intent') but you also have to apply the doctrine that "ignorance is no defence". Law, as always, becomes very complicated fast.

Brian Williams
80 Posted 23/07/2021 at 11:10:57

According to the tabloids

Enough said, Kieran.

Kieran Kinsella
81 Posted 23/07/2021 at 14:06:52

A journo I know knew of it early Saturday. Evidently neighbors tipped off the press when the police showed up at his house. On the specifics, I imagine the press then tapped up leaks in the police.

Kieran Kinsella
82 Posted 23/07/2021 at 14:12:11
On the identity front, the press have leaked enough information to limit it to two possible players but publicly said it's not one of them. I think they should tighten up things and just say “a man” without sharing his age, job, marital status, foreign nationality etc as all that info effectively outs the suspect.
Jerome Shields
83 Posted 23/07/2021 at 15:05:37
Regarding recent allegations regarding a player, the club – like others organisations in the UK – will have in p!ace policies and procedures which they will follow in the event of a member of staff being arrested on such allegations Everton are correctly and legally following those policies and procedures.

Martin Nicholls
84 Posted 23/07/2021 at 16:34:16
Brian #107,

I'm sure you're right but, with the speed at which the law proceeds (even slower due to Covid backlog), I wouldn't bet against his contract expiring before any charges are brought, or the matter is dropped

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