Scarcely the sort of news City needed ever, let alone now, but midfielder Jake Livermore has been immediately suspended by the club and the FA after a random drugs test found traces of cocaine.
The midfielder, a regular over the last two seasons at the Circle, was subject to a test after City’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace last month. He subsequently played in the win over Liverpool and the defeats against Arsenal and Burnley prior to the results being made public yesterday.
Cocaine is not a performance-enhancing drug but comes under the ‘social’ drugs category under the FA’s rules on unlawful substances, and Livermore now faces up to a two-year ban. It is hard to believe, irrespective of how City finish the season, that he will play for the club again.
Livermore, who is 25, joined City on loan in the summer of 2013 after promotion from the Championship and had a fine season; this year he has been less effective and was coming under considerable criticism for his most recent displays. He previously played for Spurs, for whom he was an apprentice, and has one England cap.