Football Club rules out signing up convicted rapist after furious reaction

Convicted rapist Ched Evans will not be signed by bottom of the Football League Hartlepool United, the club has said.

Football Club rules out signing up convicted rapist after furious reaction

They were linked with the 25-year-old Wales striker after new manager Ronnie Moore admitted he would like to bring in the proven goalscorer to help in the fight against relegation.

But there was a furious reaction, similar to the one which stopped Evans’s former club Sheffield United from bringing him back after his release from jail and League Two’s bottom side issued a statement stressing they would not sign him.

It said: “Hartlepool United do not intend signing Ched Evans and, for the avoidance of doubt, will not be doing so, irrespective of his obvious ability as a football player.

“This story has emerged following an unsubstantiated internet rumour which the manager was asked to comment upon.

“The manager responded hypothetically to the situation by stating ‘if it could happen, I would want it to happen’.

“This response was based upon the player’s obvious ability as a footballer and as such has then been headlined by the media without asking the club for their official position.

“The club can fully understand the concerns of supporters and the general public and regrets any misconception portrayed.

“After a highly positive week at Hartlepool United following the takeover by new owners and the appointment of a new manager, the owners are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events and wish to draw a line under it immediately.”

Chairman Peter Harris added: “We are upset at the manner in which this story has escalated and wish to make it clear that the player will not be joining the club.

“All we are concentrating on is league survival and do not want anything to upset that goal.

“The club regrets any upset that may have been caused but we feel we must deal with this matter quickly and put the story to bed once and for all.”

Meanwhile British justice secretary Chris Grayling told the Sky News Murnaghan programme that it was ‘‘desirable’’ for ex-offenders to return to employment but there were some jobs that people could not go back to.

“What I would say is that where an offender leaves prison, clearly it is desirable that we get them back into employment, that we get them back into normal life so they don’t reoffend.

“There are some categories of profession where actually it is not possible to return to your previous job working with children for example.

“So, therefore, this debate will always happen when somebody has a high-profile and controversial job,” he said.

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