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Ched Evans talks continue as controversy over future grows

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Ched Evans

Ched Evans

Ched Evans

Talks on convicted rapist Ched Evans signing for Oldham concluded yesterday without a decision being taken on his future.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and the club had begun drawing up a joint statement but several issues remain to be settled and discussions are continuing today.

The League One club confirmed on Monday that they are considering taking the controversial step of offering Evans a route back into professional football and it is believed Oldham are seeking further assurances from the PFA and other authorities.

Even British Prime Minister David Cameron has become involved in the issue, which has also divided supporters.

Asked at a regular Westminster news briefing whether Cameron thought Evans should be given a new footballing contract, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters: "His view hasn't changed (from) ... the time when there were reports around Sheffield United.

"Ultimately, it is for employers to take decisions, but the Prime Minister does think that footballers are role models and he is sure that any potential would-be clubs and employers will weigh their decisions very carefully."

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Evans was released from prison last October halfway through a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman.

Since then, he has been rejected by Hartlepool and Tranmere. Former club Sheffield United offered the striker a chance to train with them last November but they retracted the invitation after it caused uproar.

Oldham, however, chose to begin a second round of negotiations with the Welshman despite insisting last month that they would not sign Evans. It has led to more than 35,000 people signing an online petition urging them not to do so.

The Football Supporters' Federation said fans were split over the issue of whether Evans should be given the chance to play professional football again.

An FSF spokesman said: "There is no clear consensus from fans - this is clearly a very divisive issue in society, not just among supporters.

"Some fans argue that footballers convicted of offences such as rape should never be allowed to play professionally again as it is such a serious crime.

"Other supporters say that once an individual is released from prison, they should be allowed to pursue their previous career so long as the law of the land allows it."

Oldham's secondary shirt sponsors CM Solicitors said the decision was solely down to the club.


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