Sheffield United released a statement last night detailing their decision to retract the opportunity for convicted rapist, Ched Evans, to train with the club.
The Professional Footballers’ Association have just released their own which suggests that: “it may ultimately be of benefit to both parties to move on and for Ched to look for a fresh start at a different club.”
“We do not agree that society should impose different rules for footballers which go beyond the position of the law. In that regard, it is hoped that Ched will be given an opportunity at another club to return to the job he is trained to do.”
The Blades have come under heavy scrutiny after allowing the former Welsh international to use their training facilities. There was an outcry from the media, supporters and club patrons; Charlie Webster, pop star Dave Berry, musician Paul Heaton and Lindsay Graham all resigning from their roles at the club.
Jess Ennis-Hill also called for her name to be removed from a stand at Sheffield United’s stadium Bramall Lane, should the striker play for the club again. Whilst the Blades’ sponsors threatened to end their deals if Evans was to be signed on a permanent contract and thousands of fans signed petitions calling for the chairman Kevin McCabe not to re-sign Ched.
The League One club’s statement explained: “The club initially accepted a request from The PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) for Ched Evans to be able to train. The reaction to this has been at an intensity that could not have been anticipated when first announced.”
“The club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms.”
Since the statement late last night, many have flocked to back the U-turn including politicians, the former Sheffield United patron Charlie Webster and the Blades’ current co-Chairman:
Although some football fans have expressed their anger at the decision saying that the club crumbled under media pressure and had lost it’s backbone.
For now it seems Ched Evans will be kept away from football, but it is widely believed by fans, and supported by the PFA, that it will only be a matter of time before a club decides to give him another chance.
Where do you think he will go next?
Picture credits: Kopii90