West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke said the club was aware of Stephane Sessegnon’s impending court case for drink-driving before he was signed, and that he will receive no separate punishment from the club.
The Baggies midfielder was yesterday banned from the road for 20 months after admitting the offence.
Sessegnon was sold on transfer deadline day to the Baggies by Sunderland for a fee around £5.5 million. That made him the club’s record signing, beating the £4.9m they paid Reading for Shane Long in 2011.
Following yesterday’s court hearing, Baggies head coach Clarke said the club was aware of the charge Sessegnon was facing before the deal went through.
“Yes. We knew Stephane had broken the laws of the land and footballers are no different to anybody else,” he said.
“He was in court, he has been punished for his misdemeanour, he accepts he was wrong and he will accept the punishment like everybody else in the country.”
Asked if he would be punished by the club, Clarke said: “No. He wasn’t here. It happened before he came to West Bromwich Albion.”
The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, having no driving licence and driving a vehicle registered as off the road.
He was also fined £7,605, including costs, at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, and given three points from an earlier driving offence.
The court heard the offence took place when Sessegnon was a Sunderland player.
He was stopped by police on the Westgate Road in Newcastle at 7.51pm on August 27 – roughly at the same time his former side went 1-0 down to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup clash at the Stadium of Light.
The Benin international has produced three impressive performances for West Bromwich Albion so far and scored the opening goal on his debut in a 3-0 win against Sunderland. He also starred in last weekend’s 2-1 victory at Manchester United.