CONVICTED rapist Ched Evans will not be invited to train with Oldham nor will he be offered a contract, the League One club have announced.
The announcement follows a barrage of criticism of Evans’ old club Sheffield United following their decision - later reversed - to allow convicted him to train with them.
Reports on Sunday linked Evans with the Sky Bet League One club, but Oldham confirmed on Monday morning that they will not be offering the former Blades striker an invitation to train with them or a contract.
Evans, 25, wants to return to football after being released from prison last month. He served two and a half years of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.
157,000 people signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign Evans and the campaign group Object said on Twitter: “Object stands in solidarity with the woman Ched Evans was convicted of raping and all other rape survivors affected by today’s news.”
But others, including the Professional Footballers’ Association, believe he should be allowed to play again.
Evans denied raping the woman, saying the sex was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.
The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
An appeal against Evans’s conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012. His case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Case Review Commission.
After his release, Evans released a video on his website protesting his innocence and vowing to clear his name.
Meanwhile, the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation after listeners complained about a BBC radio presenter who said women should “keep their knickers on” while discussing Evans.
Nick Conrad, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, made the comments during a live debate about the player.
The Ofcom investigation will examine whether his comments he breached “content standards”.
Mr Conrad was described as “ignorant” by campaigners at Rape Crisis England and Wales after saying: “I think women need to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire that when you’re in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there’s a huge amount of energy in the male body, there’s a huge amount of will and intent, and it’s very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.”
He also said: “What I’m trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man’s given certain signals he’ll wish to act upon them and if you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals, it’s best, probably, to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him. Does that make sense?”
The BBC - and Mr Conrad - apologised for his remarks after listeners complained.
A spokesman for the watchdog said: “Ofcom is currently investigating whether the use of derogatory language against women in this live debate about convicted rapist Ched Evans met generally accepted standards.”