Ched Evans deal was axed after 'vile and abusive threats, including death threats', reveal Oldham

The move for the convicted rapist collapsed

Martyn Ziegler
Thursday 08 January 2015 17:58
Comments
The prospect of signing Ched Evans has led several Oldham sponsors to threaten to quit
The prospect of signing Ched Evans has led several Oldham sponsors to threaten to quit

Oldham's chief executive Neil Joy claimed the club pulled the plug on a deal to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans following "vile and abusive threats, including death threats" to fans, sponsors and staff.

Joy confirmed Oldham will not be signing Evans due to "unbearable pressure" including 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.

It comes as Evans, 26, issued a "wholehearted apology" for the effects of his actions in 2011 but continues to maintain his innocence over his rape conviction.

Evans has also condemned social media abuse of the woman he was found guilty of raping.

Joy's statement said: "It has been widely reported that Oldham Athletic will not be signing Ched Evans, which we can now confirm.

"The whole issue has divided opinion and the club has been put under unbearable pressure as a result.

"Proceeding could have placed significant financial pressure on the club and continued to be a divisive influence. As a consequence, the deal could not go ahead.

"As a club we condemn all crime including rape and, irrespective of any appeal procedure, it was always the case that we were prepared to withstand the barrage of abuse that is evident within the country and on social media.

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

"Finally, we would like to place on record our gratitude to all who have supported the club during this difficult period, including the club staff, who have retained their focus throughout and in addition to Ched and his team, who have acted with professionalism at all times."

A police statement said only a small number of complaints had been made about comments on social media.

It said: "Greater Manchester Police would like to make it explicitly clear it is not currently investigating reports of either death threats or threats of a sexual nature made to anyone associated with Oldham Athletic FC.

"No such reports have as yet been made to Greater Manchester Police.

"The force has received a small number of complaints about comments made on social networking sites however none of these relate to any direct threats made to individuals or their families."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in