Oldham Athletic have pulled out of their move to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans, after threats were made to employees of the club.
A Latics spokesman said the move was called off due to ‘enormous pressure from sponsors and threats to staff and their families’.
The League One club have been mulling over a deal for the past four days, but have come under pressure after the local police and politicians including Labour leader Ed Miliband voiced their concerns.
More than 20,000 people also signed an online petition urging the club not to sign the 26-year-old.
Oldham were reportedly ready to sign Evans, before the club’s main sponsor ZenOffice threatened to sever ties.
Other sponsors including Verlin Rainwater Solutions, also threatened to end their association with the Latics if Evans signed.
The Wales international has been without a club since being released from prison in October after serving half of a five-year sentence.
He maintains his innocence and the Criminal Cases Review Commission is currently conducting an investigation into Evans’ conviction, though it could take 35 weeks to reach a conclusion.
Oldham are no strangers to signing players who served time in prison before.
In 2007 they welcomed Lee Hughes, the former West Bromwich Albion forward who had served half of a six-year term for causing death by dangerous driving.
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