Convicted rapist Ched Evans today said ‘mob rule’ prevented him from signing for Oldham Athletic.
The 26-year-old former Sheffield United striker, who was released from prison in October, mid-way through a five year jail term for the sex attack, earlier issued a an apology saying he was sorry ‘for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned’.
This evening he released a further statement saying: “It is with great sadness that today I have withdrawn from talks with Oldham Athletic. I would like to thank the Club, and those who have supported me in my lawful quest to find work. I apologise to the clubs supporters, sponsors and all those effected by the last 72 hours.
“Sadly the ‘mob rule’ tactics employed by the more radical elements of our society and the constant media reporting has had the desired influence on some sponsors and the club would face significant financial pressure if I joined them.
“The most significant issue for me was that owing to the threat of funding opportunities being withdrawn which may jeopardise the building of Oldham’s new stand it would mean that workers would lose their jobs and others would be put at risk - that would simply not be fair.
“Upon legal advice, I chose not to discuss the events in question. My silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth.
“I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effect that that night in Rhyl has had on many people, especially the woman concerned.
“Finally, it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so.”