UE One football club Oldham were at the centre of a storm last night amid speculation that they are poised to confirm the signing of convicted rapist Ched Evans.
Players union boss Gordon Taylor yesterday revealed that an unnamed club was expected to today hold a media conference in relation to the former Wales striker. Reports linked Evans to Oldham, who were forced to deny their interest in him last month, and an online petition against the move quickly amassed more than 12,000 signatures.
Evans has been frustrated in attempts to resume his career after his release from prison in October, having served half of a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011 – an accusation he continues to dispute.
Former club Sheffield United allowed him to train with them while insisting they were not about to re-sign Evans, but severed ties amid intense pressure from sponsors and ambassadors, such as Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
Tranmere and Hartlepool failed to offer Evans a deal despite being linked with the player, while Oldham issued a statement in December ruling out his signing.
Taylor, chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, said: “We’ve made it clear that we feel he’s been unable to say much because of the appeals process, but he has served his time.”