• Premier League

Sunderland suspended Bardsley for mocking Twitter post

ESPN staff
August 20, 2013
Phil Bardsley and Paolo Di Canio have endured a fiery breakdown in relationship © PA Photos

Sunderland have suspended Phil Bardsley after the defender mocked the club's opening day Premier League home defeat to Fulham on a social media site.

It is the latest breakdown in relationships between Bardsley and manager Paolo Di Canio, who has told the 27-year-old to stay away from the club's matches and training ground while the club investigates the incident.

On Saturday, Sunderland Under-21 player Scott Harrison posted a picture of the tunnel at the Stadium of Light with the comment "#opening day (heart)", via the popular photo-sharing website Instagram.

A close range header from Pajtim Kasami gave visitors Fulham a 1-0 win, before Bardsley posted a reply using his personal account on the site, which read: "Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!". The account has now been deleted.

It is unclear as to the length of Bardsley's suspension, who fell out of favour with Di Canio when he was photographed in a casino with £50 notes towards the end of last season.

Di Canio stated Bardsley would never play for the club under him again and the defender was not issued a squad number for the new Premier League season.

Bardsley has one year remaining on his Sunderland contract, but the club's hopes of selling him were severely disrupted last week when the full-back suffered a broken foot while playing for the Under-21s.

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