Sam Allardyce transcript in full: How Sunderland dealt with Adam Johnson questions from journalists

The Sunderland manager was repeatedly asked about what the club knew with regards to Adam Johnson, who was this week found guilty on a charge of sexual activity with a minor

Journalist: ‘Sam did you feel duped by Adam?’

Sam Allardyce: 'I think I was just waiting for the fact that the call was going to come and we were going to dismiss him. I couldn’t see any other option for the football club. I waited for the call. Got the call and said, ‘yes, let’s.. right, fine, we’ll move on and get on with our football the best I can.’ Obviously everybody keeping one eye on how the case went, certainly as much as we possibly could.'

Journalist: ‘You didn’t know about the intention to plead guilty, did you know there were documents that suggested Adam Johnson was guilty.’

Sunderland official: ‘Thanks, we’ll move on.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘No. I’m the manager, why would I know that?’

Journalist: ‘Should you have been given that information?’

Sunderland official: ‘Guys. we’ll move on from there please.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘I can’t answer that.

Journalist: ‘You’re a family man yourself. It must be revulsion, disgust.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘Absolutely. You know it’s not nice to know that you’ve worked with a player, and he’s ended up being found guilty of that offence. Like I said we have no sympathy for him. All our sympathies lie with the victim and her family. He has to take whatever sentence he gets on the chin and we have to move on as a football club.’

Journalist: ’Where is the name of the football club at the minute as a result of Adam Johnson being found guilty?’

Sunderland official: ‘Guys, stop.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘I can’t answer that.’

Journalist: ’We have to ask these questions.’

Sunderland official: ‘I know. I’ve explained guys.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘I can’t answer that lads you know what I mean.’

Journalist: ‘Should Margaret Byrne (Sunderland’s chief executive, who it was claimed in court had seen the documents regarding Johnson’s interaction with the 15-year-old) not be here to answer the questions?

Sam Allardyce: ‘I don’t know, it’s not my responsibility.’

Sunderland official: ‘One second guys, I think I explained earlier the manager would be happy to answer some questions, he’s answered what he feels able to. Now we need to go back to talking about the football.’

Journalist: ‘We have to put questions to the public face of the club.’

Sunderland official: ‘I do appreciate that.’

Journalist: ‘On May 4 the club had everything and Adam Johnson was allowed to play. No one is answering that and we are asking Sam that question.’

Sunderland official: ‘May I also say that is not Sam’s question to answer.’

Journalist: ‘It’s the club’s question to answer.’

Sunderland official: ’It’s not my job to answer that question either.’

Journalist: ‘Margaret Byrne should be here to answer that.’

Sunderland official: ‘Well she isn’t and this is the manager’s press conference.'

Adam Johnson celebrates one of the 19 league goals he scored for Sunderland

Journalist: ‘It has nothing to do with Sam. It happened before he arrived but we have to ask that question.’

Sunderland official: ‘I know, and you’ve asked that question and both Sam and I have said we can’t answer that question.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘I understand lads but I’m just here and I’m the manager I can’t answer anymore.’

Sunderland official: ‘If you keep asking that question we will have to finish now and you don’t want that to happen because you want your football stuff so let’s move on. Sam has given you what he can and what he is able to answer, please respect that. I understand where you’re coming from. Sam understands exactly where you’re coming from, but Sam can’t answer those questions you want answers to. Now you know where those answers lie but we can’t do that at the moment in this forum and in this event.’

Journalist: ‘Can you say when you will that’

Sunderland official: ‘I can’t at the moment.’

Journalist: ‘This is the only chance to ask for an answer and put you on the spot as to when it will happen.’

Sunderland official: ‘I can’t give you that answer at the moment. Talk to me after the press conference and we’ll try and find a way forward.’

Journalist: ‘Where is Margaret Byrne now?’

Sunderland official: ‘I don’t know. Let’s not get into talking about that at the moment. I’ll address that after the press conference. Let Sam get through this and let him get back to focusing on football. This isn’t his argument to have. We either move onto Southampton or we move on full stop guys. What will it be?’

Journalist: ‘These are questions Sam is comfortable answering.’


Adam Johnson’s police mugshot released, after his conviction

Sam Allardyce: ‘I’m not comfortable answering any questions on Adam Johnson. I’m trying to take some responsibility on behalf of what has happened with it to answer some questions. The difficulty is that I am not a lawyer, I’m a football manager. I’m not an academic and I don’t want to slip up with any of the answers I might give because it can make headlines, the managers says, so I can only answer as much as I can answer and I move on.’

Journalist: ‘We are not trying to trip you up.’

Sam Allardyce: ‘I know, but your editor will. He’ll see a headline somewhere, and rightly so because it’s big news. but I can’t answer that.’

Journalist: ‘Fairly unprecedented situation for you. How difficult has it been for you and how difficult to prepare a team?’

Sam Allardyce: ‘Massive because we’ve all know what’s been going on regarding the outrage from it. All I’ve had to do is try to focus the players not to be distracted by the outrage and concentrate on their football and try and do the best they can to get results.

‘It’s a hugely difficult situation to be in and one I’ve never found myself in before and quite frankly wouldn’t like to find myself in again. From a player’s point of view keep them focused and obviously they will have kept their own eyes peeled on what they’ve heard and what they’ve read. They are all as disappointed as we are.’

Journalist: ‘A football question, would you have played him if you’d known about the documents?’

Sam Allardyce: ‘It’s a hypothetical question and I don’t answer hypothetical questions.’

Sunderland official: ‘Right okay guys, can I just say, please, football, Southampton, or enough now. He has been more than kind.’