Chris Wilder has insisted it was “my decision and mine alone” to bring Ched Evans back to Bramall Lane.
And, to underline his message, the Sheffield United manager revealed he would walk-out of any club which forced him to sign players against his wishes.
Evans made 113 appearances for the League One champions before being jailed for a rape - a conviction which was later quashed - in 2012.
Speculation has been rife the striker, who was subsequently found not-guilty at retrial, was effectively imposed upon Wilder by United’s board; a suggestion he strenuously denies.
“Ultimately, it was my decision and mine alone to get Ched,” Wilder said. “I’ve seen and heard things claiming otherwise but, quite simply, they aren’t true. I wouldn’t bring in anyone I didn’t want here or who I didn’t think could make a difference. Full stop.
“If that was ever the case, then I’d shake the chairman’s hand, wish them the best and say ‘thank-you’ before walking out of the front door. Just like I walked in through the front.”
United paid Chesterfield an undisclosed sum to acquire Evans’ services earlier this month. Wilder, who canvassed opinion on the player from a variety of different sources before rubber-stamping the deal, also rubbished reports the Wales international is set to earn £10,000 a week.
“I’ve seen some of the facts and figures being banded around about,” Wilder added. “To be honest, they’re so far from the truth, they’re laughable.”