Old­ham de­cide today on rapist Evans

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

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.

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