Nile Ranger: Southend United considering striker's future after prison sentence

Nile Ranger
Nile Ranger scored four goals in four successive games towards the end of the League One season

Southend United will take time to consider striker Nile Ranger's future, after he was jailed for eight months for online banking fraud.

The 26-year-old was sentenced for conspiracy to defraud by obtaining bank details and transferring money.

Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin said the club need to assess "the impact of this startling, unexpected, outcome".

Ex-Newcastle and Swindon forward Ranger joined Southend last summer, and signed a contract until 2020 in December.

Ranger - who committed the offence in February 2015 - scored eight goals in 28 appearances for Phil Brown's Southend last season.

Ranger 'unlikely to be model pro'

Nile Ranger
Ranger was suspended by Southend United in January for a "breach of discipline" while a Football Association investigation took place, before returning in February

Before joining Southend in August 2016, Ranger had not played a competitive game for almost two years, during which he spent seven months absent from Blackpool that he put down to being distracted following death of two friends.

Southend boss Brown said before signing him that Ranger was in the "last-chance saloon" during a one-month "test period" at Roots Hall.

Ranger was also subject to a Football Association investigation this season, unrelated to the criminal sentence.

Following the result of the hearing at Wood Green, Martin's statement continued: "As I have said previously, this offence occurred long before Nile joined the club and everyone deserves a second chance, which the club has afforded Nile.

"Nile Ranger is unlikely to ever be a model professional, however during his time at Southend his behaviour has been acceptable and improved.

"We have worked hard at rehabilitation and Nile has responded well to his team mates both on and off the pitch.

"At the time of writing, the club is awaiting details of the court hearing and will review the details before coming to any decision surrounding Nile's future."

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