Sunderland have suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect after he was charged with drink driving.

The club announced they have launched an investigation into an incident in which the 30-year-old Republic of Ireland midfielder was allegedly involved on Saturday.

A club statement said: “Sunderland AFC has suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect after the player was charged with driving with excess alcohol on Saturday 17 March. The football club has commenced a full investigation into the matter.”

The club’s chief executive, Martin Bain, added: “We expect the highest standard of behaviour from our players and should any individual fall short of those standards, then robust action must be taken.”

Gibson was arrested after several vehicles were damaged close to the club’s Academy of Light training ground shortly before midday on Saturday as his team-mates prepared for their Championship clash with Preston at the Stadium of Light.

Photographs of the player, who is working is currently out injured with a groin problem, being spoken to by police at the scene later emerged on social media.

Gibson arrived on Wearside in January last year from Everton having initially emerged from the ranks at Manchester United. He has been plagued by injury and a lack of form for much of his time at Sunderland, but was enjoying his best spell for the club to date when injury struck.

Chris Coleman’s relegated side is rooted to the foot of the table and five points adrift of safety following Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat.

During pre-season, speaking under the influence of alcohol, was filmed describing the Sunderland team as “fucking shit” and accused a number of players of lacking commitment to the club.

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