Sunderland lift Phil Bardsley suspension after apology over Instagram ‘hahahaha’ comment

APOLOGY: Phil Bardsley
APOLOGY: Phil Bardsley

SUNDERLAND have lifted Phil Bardsley’s suspension after the defender apologised for mocking the club’s opening day defeat to Fulham.

Out-of-favour Bardsley was banned from the Stadium of Light and the training ground a fortnight ago after a comment on social media site Instagram, following the 1-0 loss to the Cottagers.

The 28-year-old, who has been forced to train with Sunderland’s Under-21s throughout the summer, replied to a post from academy youngster Scott Harrison with the remark “Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!”.

But the matter has now been resolved, with Bardsley disciplined for the incident and apologising in a club statement last night.

“I would like to apologise to the club and supporters for my comments made on social media,” said Bardsley.

“I understand how they may have been interpreted and it was a serious error of judgement.

“I accept the punishment that has been handed to me by the football club and will now focus my attention and efforts on rehabilitation and regaining my fitness.”

It is highly unlikely that a return to training will improve Bardsley’s prospects under Paolo Di Canio though

After earning Di Canio’s wrath for being pictured in a casino at the end of last season, Bardsley played no part in the first-team’s pre-season preparations and was available to any suitors at a knock-down price.

But a proposed move to Fulham fell through when Bardsley broke his foot playing for the U21s last month, with the full-back facing another seven weeks or so on the sidelines.