Jack Grealish fined £150,000 for breaking government guidelines but Aston Villa captain won’t face police action
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has been fined £150,000 for breaking the United Kingdom’s lockdown laws to go to a friends house on Saturday night, but it’s understood he will not face any action over an alleged car crash on Sunday morning.
The 24-year-old issued a video apology on Twitter on Monday evening in which he admitted to leaving his house after receiving an invite from a friend, just hours after he pleaded with the British public to “stay at home” and follow government guidelines in the fight against coronavirus.
By leaving his home to go to a friend’s – understood to be former Villa striker Ross McCormack’s apartment in Dickens Heath near Solihull – Grealish was defying the government’s plea for everyone to stay at home except for essential travel for food and health reasons, or for travelling to work if unable to do so from home or for a period of exercise.
After the reports emerged on Sunday night, Grealish made the decision to own up to his actions, which resulted in the £75,000-a-week midfielder being fined two weeks’ wages by his current club Aston Villa.
A club statement read: “Aston Villa is deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the coronavirus crisis.
“Club captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary. It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody.
“The player will be disciplined and fined with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.”
Grealish, appeared to be pictured at the roadside in Dickens Heath where a white Range Rover was parked on double-yellow lines after reportedly being involved in a collision with three other parked vehicles.
The Range Rover is alleged to have reversed across a road and into a silver van, leaving a dented bumper and smashed rear lights according to witnesses who spoke to The Sun. The car then allegedly travelled roughly 200 yards along the road, colliding into a number of vehicles and hitting guard railings, before coming to a halt.
The driver of the car left their details with a resident at Dickens Heath, near Solihull, around 8am on Sunday morning, before police were called to the scene shortly after.
It’s claimed that the driver offered to pay for the damage before leaving the scene of the accident, and it’s understood that although police will speak to the individual this week, no action is currently expected beyond paying for the damage.
Grealish apologised for what he said was “stupidity” on his part. “I’m deeply embarrassed about what happened this weekend,” Grealish said on Twitter. “I know it’s a tough time for everyone at the moment, being locked indoors for so long and I obviously just got a call off a friend asking to go round to his – and I stupidly agreed to do so.
“I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake that I did, so I obviously urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and the guidelines of what we’ve been asked to do.
“I know for a fact that I’ll be doing that in the near future now and obviously, like I said, I urge everyone to do the same.
“I hope everyone can accept my apology and we can move on from this and hopefully obviously in the near future we can all be out and enjoying ourselves again once this has all boiled over.”
Grealish has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United this summer with a reported £80m price put on his head, and had been in the running for Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 before the tournament was postponed until next year. It’s unknown whether these events will hampered United’s interest in him, although officials at Old Trafford are believed to have taken a dim view of Grealish’s disregard of the government’s coronavirus guidelines given how it directly puts lives at risk.