Oldham decide today on rapist Evans
OLDHAM will reveal today whether they have given the green light to the controversial signing of convicted rapist Ched Evans.
The 26-year-old striker is hoping to resume his football career at Bounday Park, even though 35,000 people have signed an online petition against it.
Talks on Evans signing for Oldham concluded yesterday without a decision being taken on his future.
The PFA and the club had begun drawing up a joint statement – but several issues remain to be settled.
The League One club confirmed on Monday that they are considering offering Evans a route back into professional football.
But it is believed Oldham are still seeking further assurances from the PFA and other authorities.
After a conference call between board members, chief executive Neil Joy issued a statement under the heading “Ched Evans” which said the club would “continue to have conversations with representative bodies such as the PFA and will conduct due diligence with regard to any decision we make on this matter”.
After reading out the statement outside Boundary Park, Joy refused to answer the questions of the 40-plus media who had gathered to hear the club’s stance on the matter.
Evans has a proven record in League One – in his final season at Sheffield United he scored 35 goals in 42 appearances – but signing the player would be hugely contentious for the Latics, who are 14th in the table.
Evans was released from prison last October, half-way through a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman.
Since then, he has been rejected by Hartlepool and Tranmere.
Former club Sheffield United offered the striker a chance to train with them last November, but they retracted the invitation after it caused uproar.
Oldham, however, chose to begin a second round of negotiations with the Welshman, despite insisting last month that they would not sign Evans.
It did not take long for dissenting voices to start airing their objections once it emerged Oldham were considering signing Evans.
By Monday night, a petition calling on the club to not sign the forward was nearing 35,000 signatures.
Evans has asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission to examine his case in the hope that it could lead to an appeal.