Oldham director Barry Owen resigns from club Trust

Boundary Park, Oldham's stadium
Ched Evans claimed a new stand at Oldham's Boundary Park might not have been built had he joined

Oldham Athletic director Barry Owen has resigned as chairman of the club's Trust after 12 years.

In a statement on the club's website, Owen denied his decision had anything to do with the aborted attempt to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Oldham said there were threats to the club's "staff and their families" before they called off the move.

Owen said he deplored "masses of abuse from a minority, some of which has been libellous and harmful to my family".

He added: "My decision has nothing to do with recent events or criticism and is something that I have been considering over the past few months due to my growing commitments with the club and the Football Association."

Evans, 26, blamed "mob rule" for the collapse of the Oldham deal and said "the more radical elements of our society" had the "desired influence on some sponsors".

He claimed the League One club's new stand might not have been built had he joined.

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman, 19, at a north Wales hotel and released in October 2014 after serving half of his five-year sentence.

Attempts to resume his football career have met with widespread opposition and an Oldham director told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that a staff member was informed a named relative would be raped if the Evans deal went ahead.

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

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