Ched Evans: this column had hoped not to return to that subject in a hurry. It only does so in feeling that, for fairness and balance, something
needs saying. As much as it’s possible to feel for a convicted rapist, I do have a little sympathy for Evans’ right now. He appears to be finding himself unemployable as a footballer and for that you can only reflect on Sheffield United’s clumsy handling of the saga.
My opinion, not necessarily right, was that for the jailed striker to return to the club he served at the time of his offence was just too glib and not in the interests of either party. If it looks wrong then, in PR terms, it usually is wrong. Inviting him back to train was an avoidable PR disaster.
If Evans had long been led to believe that United would re-sign him then that was a promise recklessly made. He should have been quietly advised to find another club.
The result of the backlash that saw United retract their offer is that Evans has become toxic. Tranmere and Oldham will not be alone in distancing themselves from him.
I think it’s a good thing that football’s moral compass has been challenged – but clubs need leadership from the top and it’s up to the FA to set down some firm guidelines. Until they do, it’s my view that
Evans should be allowed to play and that his current plight is unfair.