STEVE BRUCE believes Jake Livermore and Hull City have been made to wait too long for an FA hearing into the midfielder’s alleged use of drugs after a date was finally set.
The £8m midfielder tested positive for cocaine during a random drugs test that followed City’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on April 25.
Details emerged this week that Livermore, suspended by the club since early May, had been struggling to cope with the death of his child when he failed the test.
It is believed the player’s representatives will cite the tragedy - which occurred just after the 2014 FA Cup final - as mitigating circumstances. Livermore could face a two-year ban if found guilty.
Now, a date has been set by the FA for the week beginning Monday, August 24.
Speaking this morning at his weekly press conference, Tigers manager Bruce said: “Jake’s hearing has been set and we have to let the hearing take place and see what Jake’s punishment is. The hearing is at the end of this month.
“For me, this process has taken too long, but it’s obviously edging toward a conclusion. The quicker the better because we need the whole resolution sorted as soon as we can.”
Asked about details of Livermore’s personal life emerging this week, Bruce added: “The way society is today and social media, it is very difficult to keep anything under wraps these days.
“There are big difficulties with Jake and we have been aware of those difficulties. I am sure these difficulties are going to be published an I’m sure Jake would rather they were kept quiet.
“That’s why, as a respect for him, we have kept quiet. We understand there are many issues and I am sure there will be more to follow of what has been in the press so far.
“There is no doubt about it he has problems. When everyone has problems you try and help them the best way possible. He expects to be punished, but we also have to try and help the lad.
“People think because he is a professional footballer he has the world, but he has problems just like everybody else does.”