Sunderland squad in flight drama as plane forced to divert to Manchester

Sunderland and new manager David Moyes had to make an emergency landing today as they jetted off to continue their pre-season preparations.

Sunday, 24th July 2016, 2:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:52 pm
Sunderland AFC's plane was forced to divert to Manchester Airport due to a technical fault.

The Eastern Airways flight carrying the Sunderland AFC players, backroom staff and club officials were forced to make an emergency landing at Manchester Airport .

They were on a plane from Newcastle to Geneva when the pilots noticed a warning light.

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The aircraft turned round between Stafford and Derby and diverted to Manchester.

A spokeswoman for Manchester Airport said the flight landed safely on the runway just after 11.20am today.

They said: “It was a flight carrying the Sunderland football team.

“They had set off from Newcastle earlier and the aircraft was showing a technical failure, so it was diverted to Manchester as a precaution.

“It landed safely and all passengers disembarked while safety checks were made.”

A Sunderland AFC spokeswoman confimed: "There was a technical fault with the plane and we were diverted to Manchester.

"We have to wait for a new aircraft, but it's just a minor delay and hopefully we'll be in France soon."

The Sunderland party was spotted by holidaymakers waiting at the airport.

Sam Hands tweeted: "Eating my lunch @ Manchester airport... Look up and there [email protected] and co. enjoying a coffee. #SAFC."

Sunderland are due to play FC Stade Nyonnais tomorrow as part of a three-game mini-tour.

They then face Dijon FCO on Wednesday, and the tour is capped off with a fixture against Montpellier HSC on Saturday.