​Stoke City have confirmed they will take disciplinary action against James McClean after the forward posted a controversial image on his Instagram account.

The Republic of Ireland international has been in the headlines for various reasons throughout his career, but the most recent event has caused his club to act accordingly and issue a statement on their website.

McClean, a Derry native, posted an image of himself wearing a balaclava - headwear synonymous with the IRA - while sitting in front of two of his children. The image was captioned with the words: "Today's school lesson - history."

His upload sparked a backlash on social media, prompting Championship side ​Stoke to respond as such.

The ​statement read: "Stoke City can confirm that, following an internal disciplinary review, disciplinary action has been taken against James McClean for an inappropriate social media post.

"McClean has been fined two weeks’ wages by the Club and has also agreed to delete his Instagram account. The player has expressed contrition and recognises that the post was ill advised and offensive."

Included on the club's response was a note from the McClean, who apologised for his actions and insisted he never meant to do any harm. Shortly after initially uploading the photo, the Irishman removed it from his social media channels.

He said: “I never wanted to cause any offence but I now realise that I did so and for that I apologise unreservedly. I have spoken to the Club and will be deleting my Instagram account.”

James McClean

The 30 year old has been the subject of abuse throughout the vast majority of his playing career, having refused each year to wear a Remembrance Day poppy. It's a decision which stems from the Bloody Sunday Massacre, in which 13 unarmed citizens were murdered in his native Derry back in 1972.