Ched Evans: Gordon Taylor makes Hillsborough 'comparison'

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport
Ched Evans
Taylor believes it would be "very difficult" for Evans to stay in football

Gordon Taylor has risked further controversy by appearing to compare the Ched Evans case with the Hillsborough tragedy.

After the convicted rapist's move to Oldham collapsed, the Professional Footballers' Association chief executive was asked about Evans's insistence that he is innocent.

"He wouldn't have been the first person to be found guilty, maintained their innocence and been proved right. We know what happened with Hillsborough," Taylor told BBC Sport.

"It's now unravelling and very different to how it was portrayed at the time, indeed by the police at the time."

Following a long campaign by families, new inquests are being held to investigate how 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of the Hillsborough stadium disaster on 15 April 1989.

Click here to listen to Taylor's comments.

Taylor did not elaborate further on this point but said it would be "very difficult" for Evans, 26, to stay in football following the League One club's change of heart.

"This Oldham situation has not made things any better for him, so it may well now take some time," said Taylor.

More than 70,000 people signed a petition calling on Oldham not to sign Evans, while a number of campaigners and politicians voiced opposition to the move for the Wales international.

"Having done a sentence, he is entitled to return," said Taylor, adding that then player's cause might be helped now the public knows "he is genuinely apologetic for the consequences of what happened".

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

The former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman, 19, at a north Wales hotel in 2011. He was released in October 2014 after serving half of a five-year sentence.

On Thursday, Evans apologised for the "effects of his actions" but continued to maintain his innocence.

He later issued a further statement blaming "mob rule" for the deal's collapse, claiming "the more radical elements of our society" had the "desired influence on some sponsors".

Oldham chief executive Neil Joy said there had been "vile and abusive threats, including death threats, made to our fans, sponsors and staff" over the proposed signing.

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