Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Club Slam 'Mob Rule' as Evans Deal Falls Through

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Club Slam 'Mob Rule' as Evans Deal Falls Through

Article excerpt

Martyn Ziegler CHED Evans' move to Oldham has collapsed with the convicted rapist blaming 'mob rule' for preventing the League One club signing him.

Evans, who also apologised for the first time to the woman he was found guilty of raping in a statement, claimed a new stand at Oldham would have been put at risk had he joined.

The club's chief executive Neil Joy insisted they pulled the plug on a deal following "vile and abusive threats, including death threats" to fans, sponsors and staff plus "unbearable pressure" on the club's finances with sponsors threatening to sever ties.

Greater Manchester Police said, however, no reports about death threats or other serious threats had been received.

Evans (pictured below) was released from prison last October, halfway through a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.

He has now condemned social media attacks on the woman and for the first time issued an apology while still maintaining his innocence.

It is the second time Oldham have pulled out of a deal to sign the striker, whose chances of finding a team willing to take him look limited.

Sheffield United also decided against giving him a contract after initially agreeing to let him train with the club.

Oldham's chief executive Joy con-firmed any deal was now off - and the club also denied reports chairman Simon Corney had quit.

Joy said: "We deplore and condemn the vile and abusive threats, including death threats, which have been made to our fans, sponsors and staff while this process has been in the public domain.

"The issue has divided opinion and the club have been put under unbearable pressure.

"Proceeding could have placed signifi-cant financial pressure on the club and continued to a divisive. As a consequence, the deal could not go ahead."

Oldham Athletic Supporters' Trust also issued a statement saying staff had been subjected to threats and attacks.

It said: "This is an emotive issue and as such we would ask all members and fans respect the views of their fellow supporters in the general debate. …

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