Ched Evans blames 'mob rule' for Oldham deal being pulled

Ched Evans
Evans released a statement on his personal website saying his "silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance"

Ched Evans has blamed "mob rule" for the collapse of his proposed deal to sign for Oldham Athletic.

Oldham had condemned death threats made during the negotiations to sign the convicted rapist, but said "significant financial pressure" was the reason the club pulled out of any agreement.

Evans said "the more radical elements of our society" had the "desired influence on some sponsors".

He said Oldham's new stand might not have been built had he joined.

In a statement on his personal website, the 26-year-old said: "The most significant issue for me was that owing to the threat of funding opportunities being withdrawn, which may jeopardise the building of Oldham's new stand, it would mean that workers would lose their jobs and others would be put at risk - that would simply not be fair.

"Sadly the 'mob rule' tactics employed by the more radical elements of our society and the constant media reporting has had the desired influence on some sponsors and the club would face significant financial pressure if I joined them."

He also apologised "for the effects" of his actions in 2011 that led to his rape conviction - "not least [on] the woman concerned" - but continued to maintain his innocence.

Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC North West Tonight that it was "unrealistic" for Evans to expect to get straight back into the sport.

He said: "Perhaps he needs to do more to put back in to the community some sense of atonement for what he's done before he restarts his career."

PFA chairman Gordon Taylor said it would be "very difficult" for Evans to stay in football following the League One club's change of heart.

There would need to be "quite a difference in the tide of opinion" for Evans to play professional football again, he said.

Would any League One/Two side sign Evans?
Read the responses when BBC Sport contacted all 48 clubs.

Oldham decided not to sign the former Manchester City and Sheffield United player on Thursday after days of deliberations.

A club director said a staff member was told that a named relative would be raped if the deal went ahead.

There had also been "enormous pressure from sponsors", the board member said.

Latics chief executive Neil Joy said: "We deplore the vile and abusive threats, including death threats, made to our fans, sponsors and staff."

Joy said the club were always "prepared to withstand the barrage of abuse that is evident within the country and on social media" over any agreement to sign Evans and praised the player and his team's "professionalism at all times".

"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."

Greater Manchester Police's chief constable Sir Peter Fahy said his force would investigate threats to Oldham's staff and their families.

But GMP later clarified that no threats were currently being investigated as they had yet to receive any complaints.

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman, 19, at a north Wales hotel.

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