Tis Christmas, the season of giving, forgiveness and goodwill to all men.
All men except one that is.
Ched Evans can’t find a warm hearth anywhere in the football world right now.
As soon as any club is linked with him in any way the social media equivalent of the medieval mob with flaming torches and pitchforks are banging at the castle gate demanding blood.
Ronnie Moore and Hartlepool United got the full wrath this weekend after former Rotherham boss Moore suggested Evans’ talents might be an asset to his new club.
At the heart of what Moore said is the kernel of the issue: “He has served his time and the boy wants to play football.”
He has and he does and according to the law of the land he is free so to do. But girded by the untouchable sanctity of their higher moral position - almost like Monty Python’s witch-burning villagers in The Holy Grail film - the extreme anti-Evans lobby feels it has smashed the issue beyond debate.
Evans, 25, was released in October after serving half of a five-year sentence for the rape of a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in 2011.
People rightly point out that she has to live with the consequences of Evans’ actions for the rest of her life and of course she is the victim, not Evans.
He still protests his innocence and a Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at his miscarriage of justice claim.
Sheffield United – finally and for all the right reasons – distanced themselves from their former 30-goals-a-season man after they considered allowing him to train with the club.
Morally wrong, too close to home, too much at stake and no remorse shown were popular opinions as evidenced by the 166,000-signature online petition. That’s all understandable and the right decision at the time, despite support for the striker by home-and-away Blades fans. But does that mean he can never work again?
Does that mean that any manager who mentions his name or any club who speaks to his representatives can be hammered in the media, trashed and pilloried by Twitter trolls and online hate campaigns?
Maybe it does. Maybe Evans has to accept that he won’t play professional football again, accept that he has made himself unemployable.
But somehow that doesn’t seem entirely right either.