(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Southend United say they are awaiting the outcome of an FA investigation before deciding on the future of suspended striker Nile Ranger.
Last week, Southend suspended Ranger for a “breach of discipline”, and on Wednesday the player admitted an online banking fraud, although the two cases are thought to be unrelated.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud by obtaining bank details and transferring the money, and it resulted in a woman losing over £2000.
It is the latest setback in a career plagued by misdemeanors, but Southend are biding their time on the future of Ranger, saying in a club statement: “The club does not wish to pre-judge the circumstances and awaits the outcome of the Football Association’s review and assessment before the club makes its own decision surrounding Nile’s future.
“The club recognises the difficulties Nile Ranger has suffered in the past and, although to a lesser extent, that continues to impact on the present.
“It is therefore fair that the club comes to a decision only when all the facts, and factors, are to hand.”
Southend are currently on a terrific run in the league, having lost just once in their last 10 games, and are just a place outside the play-off spots – a sequence of form that is impacting Southend’s decision.
The club statement added: “A negative decision, and consequential termination of Nile’s contract, would effectively undo all the good work the club, manager Phil Brown and his team mates have achieved to date. However, no player is more important than the club.”
It is expected the investigation will be over by the end of January.