Town have suspended midfielder Jimmy Bullard for two weeks after an alleged drinking session earlier this week which saw the 33-year-old and striker Michael Chopra turn up to Thursday training more than an hour late. The one-time England call-up, who joined the Blues after his Hull contract was terminated after an alleged indiscretion on a pre-season trip to Slovenia, and Town’s top scorer spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights out in Chopra’s home city of Newcastle.
Manager Paul Jewell, who made the duo train with the youth squad on their return, is understood to have told Bullard to stay away from Town while the club decide what further action to take. The Blues boss has launched an investigation and will comment after Saturday’s game against Bristol City. Chopra, who has not been suspended, could also face action.
Several senior members of the Town squad were in London on Tuesday for a bonding session, enjoying drinks and a meal in the West End when the pair relocated their evening to Newcastle, where Chopra spends most of his time off with his young son.
The duo were spotted by a large number of Tweeters in various Newcastle night spots on both nights, including bars named Bijoux and Perdu, with a claim that at one stage the Blues midfield man was seen with his trousers down. Bullard was also said to be at a casino on Wednesday with his former Hull team-mate Nolberto Solano and Stoke’s Cameron Jerome.
In addition to Bullard, veteran Peruvian international Solano is also set for trouble as he missed a reserve game with his current club Hartlepool, manager Neale Cooper commenting: “Nobby didn't turn up, I cannot really comment at the moment. He was meant to be there, but never appeared. We will see what happens after that.''
New signing Ryan Stevenson, veteran Lee Bowyer or Northern Ireland international Josh Carson could take Bullard’s place on the Town bench for the Bristol City match.
Contributed immensely to our survival last season but falling from grace now. It's just a shame as we thought Jimmy would continue where he left off last season, and the obvious reason why he was signed permanent this season
Seems likely he will be the next one on PJ's list for early "mutual termination"
Mr Bullard, a very talented man, worked very hard for a contract last season... Made a massive difference to us and was a joy to watch. I don't blame anyone at the club for pushing the boat out to sign him up.
Then there was a "loss of form" and now this ...He didn't show much loyalty on Soccer AM last year...Perhaps he doesn't have any.
As a fan I feel let down by both players, but in a way more by Chopra because of the way the club and fans have supported him through everything.
Jewell must also feel let down massively. Horrible situation for him now. Do you leave out your top scorer? Less awkward in Bullard's case because he hasn't been playing, but still, two very big, high profile players making the club look bad. Why only Bullard suspended?
Will not suspend Chopra as he would have to play Scotland and it is obvious they are scared of him playing those 3 games and getting a contract- Scotland should not have been dropped in the first place, PJ got away with it as Chops got a few goals