League One club set to sign convicted rapist Evans

League One club set to sign convicted rapist Evans

A League One club will hold a press conference on Monday in relation to the signing of convicted rapist Ched Evans, the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has revealed.

Evans wants to return to football after being released from prison in October.

He served two-and-a-half years of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.

Taylor would not name the club but confirmed that the media briefing is scheduled to take place.

1pm UPDATE: The Sun newspaper has named the club in question as being Oldham Athletic.

“The club are due to hold the press conference tomorrow and I’ve made it clear to them that I cannot attend tomorrow,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.

Evans had an offer to train with former club Sheffield United retracted in November following strong local opposition, while Tranmere, Oldham and Hartlepool also previously rejected the opportunity to sign him.

He was initially given permission by the Blades to return to train with the club at the request of the PFA.

But following a backlash from Blades supporters, sponsors and patrons opposed to Evans’ return – 160,000 people signed a petition against it – the club retracted the offer.

Several Sunday newspapers reported that Evans was poised to join a League One side this week, and Taylor warned that any move for the 26-year-old striker had to be for the right reasons.

“Bearing in mind what happened with his release and then of course the furore that we had at Sheffield United we feel that any club wishing to sign him needs to be 100% committed to signing him for proper and legitimate football reasons,” Taylor added.

Any move to sign Evans is likely to lead to public outcry, but Taylor is keen to avoid a similar situation to the one that engulfed Sheffield United after they made their offer to the player.

“I don’t want to create a replica-type situation that we had at Sheffield (United) because I’m a little bit concerned that we need press conference and that will invite, of course, many antagonists,” he said.

Taylor said the PFA appreciated the situation was “very sensitive”, but reiterated its stance that Evans deserved the chance to resume his career following his release from prison.

“We’ve made it clear in our statements that we feel he’s been unable to say much because of the appeals process, but he has served his time and the job of society is to look to rehabilitate,” Taylor said.

On Friday Maltese side Hibernians revealed that they had made a contract offer to Evans for the remainder of the season, although the BBC quoted a spokesman for Evans denying the player received such an offer.

However, any move abroad is unlikely to materialise given the UK’s tough regime in managing sex offenders.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ”We are determined to have one of the toughest regimes in the world for managing sex offenders, to stop them re-offending and to protect victims.

”Probation officers must give permission for sex offenders on licence to take up new jobs and this includes ensuring they hold regular face to face meetings - this effectively rules out working abroad.

”The offenders will also be subject to strict conditions such as exclusion zones, non-contact orders and having to attend sex offender treatment programmes.”

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