Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

Convicted rapist and ex-Man City forward Ched Evans deserves chance to play again, says PFA boss

Convicted rapist and ex-Man City forward Ched Evans deserves chance to play again, says PFA boss

| By Michael Hincks

Ex-Manchester City player Ched Evans should be allowed back into football upon his release from prison for committing rape, according to Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor.

The striker, 25, made 16 appearances for City between 2007 and 2009, before being sentenced to five years in jail for rape in April 2012.

The Welshman, who has 13 caps for his country, is set to be released this month with calls for his former club Sheffield United not to re-employ him.

 

 

 

Just short of 100,000 people have signed a petition campaigning against the player’s return, though Taylor sees no reason why Evans should not be reinstated.

"I didn't know there was a law that said once you come out of prison you still can't do anything," Taylor told a BBC Sport Wales programme.

"As a trade union we believe in the rule of law. Besides that, he still wants to contribute to society.

"If he earns money he'll pay taxes, those taxes will go to help people who maybe can't get a job."

Evans scored 42 goals in 103 appearances for Sheffield United after moving from City for an initial fee of £3 million.

 

 

 

The Blades have refused to comment on whether he will make a comeback.

The director of communications for Rape Crisis England and WalesKatie Russell, is wary of the impact Evans’ return might cause.

"Obviously Rape Crisis completely supports and recognises the right of any convicted criminal to return to work after they've completed their sentence, that's not something we're disputing," Russell told the BBC.

"But we have to accept that in this case it is an incredibly high-profile figure who will inevitably return.

“He will be highly paid, he will get a lot of profile and will be celebrated of course for his sporting prowess.

"We would say that the responsibility is really with the clubs and the football authority more widely to send a very strong message.

"They need to send a strong message that rape and sexual violence, and violence against women and girls more broadly, will not be tolerated within football."

Evans has always maintained his innocence and legal representatives for the striker are looking to appeal to Criminal Cases Review Commission  (CCRC) to quash his conviction.

The CCRC is an independent public body who look at reviewing possible miscarriages of justice in the criminal courts and refer appropriate cases for appeal.

Wales manager Chris Coleman said in August 2014 that Evans' international future was yet to be considered.

Main image courtesy of ISN TV via YouTube, with thanks.