first_img Press Association Advocaat has confirmed the 27-year-old midfielder, who was charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming on Thursday, remains available for selection with the club reviewing the situation. For the time being at least, the Black Cats’ position remains unchanged, and that means Johnson, who has been used as a substitute in the last three games, can play on as Sunderland battle relegation. Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has insisted it was not a difficult decision to include Adam Johnson in his squad for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Stoke. Advocaat’s side currently sit 16th in the table, but just a point clear of the bottom three, and he has set them a target of at least six points to avoid the drop. In the circumstances, he needs all the players he can get, and especially a man who cost £10million when he arrived from Manchester City during the summer of 2012. Johnson’s continued presence could prove all the more important after the Dutchman revealed that striker Steven Fletcher travelled to London on Friday to consult a specialist over a troublesome ankle injury. Asked if it was a difficult situation for a coach, Advocaat replied: “No, because the club made a statement about it and I stay behind that, and we will wait and see what the future will bring. “He still has to come in, but in principle if he feels okay, then he will be a member of the squad. If he’s in the squad, then I will consider him for selection, otherwise he would not be in the squad.” Johnson has already been the target of unsavoury chants from fans of rival clubs, but Advocaat is confident that will not be an issue during the final weeks of the season. He said: “No, I don’t think so.” Advocaat’s comments came after Sunderland released a statement outlining their position on the matter. It said: “Following yesterday’s statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review. “The club will not be making any further comment.” Johnson is due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on May 20 – the Black Cats face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium that evening – but in theory, should be available to play in the other five games Sunderland have in which to preserve their top-flight status. last_img read more


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Wednesday again upheld a Whittier city ordinance that blocked Rome Fine Dining, former Ibiza Steak and Lounge, from selling alcoholic beverages. Judge David Yaffe made his ruling despite a plea from Roger Jon Diamond, attorney for Rome Fine Dining, that city officials had lied about one of the reasons for revoking the restaurant’s conditional-use permit. Without the permit, Rome Fine Dining can’t sell alcoholic beverages. Since losing its liquor license, the club has been catering to teenagers. Diamond asked Yaffe to allow the club to continue selling alcoholic beverages until the actual lawsuit is heard some time next year. As one of the reasons for revoking the permit, city officials had said there was a stabbing in the early morning hours of Aug. 14 at Rome Fine Dining. But this week, officials said there was no stabbing. The unidentified man, who was injured, was instead hit on the head by a bottle thrown at him. The new information didn’t change Yaffe’s ruling on Oct. 26 when he originally refused to overturn the city’s revocation. “The overwhelming evidence is that this establishment is a constant problem,” Yaffe said. “The stabbing or bottle being thrown is part of the continuum, not one isolated incident,” he said. “It is not in the public interest to allow the establishment to continue to operate.” Diamond asked Yaffe to change his Oct 26 ruling after the new information was revealed. “Why should one bottle be justification to destroy a business?” Diamond asked. “This is a business that had a bottle thrown once in three to four years.” But Kimberly Hall Barlow, attorney for the city, said the Aug. 14 incident was serious. “(The victim) was held and beaten by people,” Barlow said. “He was carried out by employees with no call for aid.” There also have been other problems during the past years, she said. “There have been 429 calls for service,” she said referring to a period from August 2001 to May 2005. “They’ve been for (driving under the influence), urinating in public, stabbings and physical assaults.” Wednesday’s court action followed a City Council meeting Tuesday night in which the council approved a revised resolution that took out the allegation of the stabbing. During the hearing, Diamond cross-examined Mayor Greg Nordbak about his telling of being present the night of Aug. 13 and morning of Aug. 14. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022last_img read more