Hull City boss Steve Bruce warns that Jake Livermore could be sacked if the Football Association confirms his positive drugs test for cocaine.
The disappointment was etched all over Steve Bruce’s face.
His team is clinging on to their Premier League existence by a gnat’s thong, and all anyone wants to talk about is his disgraced star Jake Livermore.
The £8 million summer signing, from Tottenham Hotspur, tested positive for cocaine during a random drugs test taken after Hull City’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sat 25, April. Both the Football Association (FA), and his club, has suspended him for the remainder of the season.
Match of the Day pundit, Alan Shearer, said what was on everyone’s mind.
“The timing is disastrous for Hull.”
The mini revival that saw them secure back-to-back victories over Crystal Palace and Liverpool has well and truly ended, after a series of three defeats against Arsenal, Burnley and Tottenham, has seen them become firm favorites to join Burnley and QPR in next season’s Championship.
How poignant that Steve Bruce will have to return to his old stomping ground – the Theatre of Dreams – and beat Man Utd, whilst still hoping that either Sunderland or Newcastle lose at home. The scene of so many of his greatest memories could end up creating one of his worst.
News reports have suggested that Bruce spent most of the build up to the Spurs match dealing with the Livermore incident.
“I am within my right to express my huge disappointment, frustration and anger at the whole situation.” Bruce told The Mirror.
Livermore, who has one England cap, has appeared 35 times for Hull in the league this season, scoring one goal. If he is found guilty of taking cocaine, he could be banned for two years. His reputation will be tarnished for life.
But is sacking him really the answer?
Match of the Day pundit, Jermaine Jenas, who played alongside Livermore at Spurs, called for a more lenient approach.
“I’ve known Jake since he was a young lad, and I know deep down he is a good lad. He has gone through some very tough personal issues, which have been hard for him. I would like to see Hull help him to some extent because it had been a tough year for the lad.”
This is the first high profile positive drugs scandal in the Premier League since Adrian Mutu failed a drugs test whilst playing for Chelsea. The Blues subsequently launched a legal campaign against Mutu claiming €17m in damages.
Livermore has two years remaining on his contract.