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Oldham FC considering deal for convicted rapist Ched Evans

By Paul Hirst

Oldham FC remain in talks over the potential signing of convicted rapist Ched Evans despite a furious backlash from fans, sponsors and politicians.

After much speculation, Oldham confirmed yesterday that they are considering offering Evans a route back into professional football despite a petition attracting 30,000 signatures and sponsors threatening to withdraw funds.

After a conference between board members, chief executive Neil Joy issued a statement under the heading 'Ched Evans' which said the club would "continue to have conversations with representative bodies such as the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) and will conduct due diligence with regard to any decision we make on this matter."

Despite expectations to the contrary, there was no press conference to announce Evans' signing and the 26-year-old did not train with the Oldham squad.

Evans' future has been the source of debate since he was released last October half way through a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman.

Sheffield United, with whom Evans last played three years ago, offered the striker a chance to train with them last November but they retracted the invitation after it caused uproar.

Hartlepool and Tranmere, both wary of a similar scenario, rejected the opportunity to enter discussions with the former Manchester City forward last year.

Oldham, however, chose to begin a second round of negotiations with the Welshman despite insisting last month that they would not sign Evans.

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