Pre-season in prison for Jake Speight

New signing Jake Speight will miss the start of City’s season after being sent to prison for three months for assault.

Speight missed the Friday game with Eccleshill United having told Peter Taylor he would be appearing in court and – as a result of that appearance – the player has been imprisoned. Taylor’s fury – a kind of unfocused rage that “someone” should have told him about the possibility of Speight going to jail – is obvious with the manager not only refusing to pay the player until he is released but taking a view that he may not be paid until he is fit enough to play.

Speight’s signing – under the threat of prison – is not unprecedented. When Peter Beagrie signed for the club in 1997 he had a court case to answer and as a result was sentenced but not jailed. Chris Kamara – who was manager at the time – knew of Beagrie’s case and risked his £50,000 signing going to prison. Beagrie’s first season was some way poorer than his later ones and perhaps one might suggest that a lack of pre-season might have been the cause of that.

Another player – Richard Liburd – was jailed while at the Bantams and it was decided that the club would sack him although Geoffrey Richmond had to wait until the player had not turned up to work for two weeks as a result of being inside before he could take action.

Speight is expected to be released around the 22nd of August should he behave well and – considering that we have owned the player for less than a week and in that time he has played no games but been sent to prison without telling anyone once – perhaps we have no guarantee of that.

It is not the pre-season Peter Taylor would want.