Sunderland Chief Executive Margaret Byrne has resigned over her role in the decision to allow Adam Johnson to continue playing for the team despite confessing to kissing a 15-year-old schoolgirl, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.
England international Johnson, 28, was sacked by Sunderland last month after pleading guilty to two child sex offences. He was convicted last week of sexual activity with a child and now faces up to 10 years in prison.
"The Board of Sunderland AFC has today accepted the resignation of Margaret Byrne," the club said in a statement.
"Margaret, in her role as CEO, was responsible for the running of the club. She was also accountable for the actions taken by the club in relation to Mr. Johnson," Sunderland said.
"Sunderland AFC acknowledges that Margaret's intentions have always been to act in the best interests of the club, however, it has become clear through our own internal investigations that in this instance decisions have been taken by Margaret in error."