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Sheffield United co-chairman angry over Evans decision

Sheffield United co-chairman Jim Phipps is "angry and upset" after the club had to withdraw their offer to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans train with the club.

Evans had been invited to use the South Yorkshire club's facilities and get fit after being released from prison, but now won't be permitted to do so.

The Blades were put under pressure to not allow Evans to re-join the club, including Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill saying she were want her name removed from the stand named after if they were to re-employ the striker.

Sheffield United won't have Ched Evans playing for them. Credit: PA

"I'm angry that we are not able to get a chance to do for this footballer what should be done," he said.

"I'm upset that we are not able to do what we wanted to do, but I acknowledge that my view is not the only view.

"My principles and the board's principles are not the only thing that matter."

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Ched Evans ban 'sends a message' about behaviour

Sheffield United's decision to ban Ched Evans from training "sends a message" about kind of behaviour is acceptable in 21st century Britain, the head of a feminist campaign group said.

Object chief executive Roz Gardie told Good Morning Britain said rehabilitation was "obviously" important but the striker had shown no remorse over his actions.

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Dave Berry welcomes United's retraction on Evans

Sheffield United has withdrawn an offer to allow Ched Evans to train with the club. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Singer Dave Berry, who resigned as a patron at Sheffield United following the Ched Evans row, has welcomed a decision to withdraw an offer for the footballer to train at the club but says it should not have taken so long.

Mr Berry told ITV news: "I'm very pleased to hear it but why has it taken so long? And still, where are all the men in this? I haven't seen anyone commenting from football clubs."

He added: "I'm rather disappointed at men not supporting this girl and making any gestures. They've said nothing about the contract - we're still only halfway there."

TV presenter praises Blades' decision over Evans

Television presenter and lifelong Sheffield United supporter Charlie Webster has tonight gone on Twitter to praise the Blades' decision to withdraw its offer to allow convicted rapist and former player Ched Evans to use the club's training facilites.

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Blades withdraw training offer to Evans

Sheffield United have tonight in a dramatic u-tturn withdrawn their offer to convicted rapist Ched Evans to train at the club.

Sheffield United have tonight withdrawn its offer to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans train with the club

In a statement on the official Sheffield United website the club said:

"Following the statement dated 11th November and after ongoing and extensive deliberation, Sheffield United Football Club has decided to retract the opportunity for its former player, Ched Evans, to use the Club's facilities for training purposes, as was previously intended.

"Members of the Board have consulted dispassionately with the Club's supporters, Vice Presidents, Community Foundation members, executives, staff, sponsors and other relevant stakeholders in order to help it reach this decision. Also, the Club has been diligent in communicating with The Football Association, The Football League, The Professional Footballers' Association (The PFA), The Football Association of Wales and The National Probation Service to take further soundings.

"We recognise that a number of our supporters will be disappointed with this decision, but would ask that they remember the responsibilities we have not only to a fine and proud Club, whose history stretches back over 125 years, but also to the communities in which Sheffield United is active and to the City we represent.

"The Club initially accepted a request from The PFA for Ched Evans to be able to train. The reaction to this has been at an intensity that could not have been anticipated when first announced.

"As noted in previous statements from the Club, the legal system of this country provides for both the punishment and the rehabilitation of every person who has been found guilty of a crime. Sheffield United will not be used to promote the view that professional footballers should be treated differently, as has been the want of certain sections of the media and various commentators. In addition, we remain disappointed at some of the inaccurate reporting, misinformed views and commentary, as well as the actions of a minority of individuals on social media. Professional footballers must be treated as equals before the law.

"The Club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms. The Club is aware that Ched Evans is pursuing legal recourse via the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the determination he has to clear his name. We trust that he will be afforded a fair hearing.

"During this whole period, we have been served a timely reminder of what we have been throughout our history: Sheffield United is a Family and Community Club that, even in times of adversity, will remain strong and grow from its experiences."

– Sheffield United FC

Rape victim support charity urges club to consider impact of Evans return

A national rape support charity has urged Sheffield United to consider the impact of allowing Ched Evans to return to the club.

Evans was convicted of rape and is to be released later this year after serving half of a five year sentence. It has been reported that he could then return to the Blades.

Katie Russell from Rape Crisis England and Wales told ITV Calendar that bosses at the club should carefully consider whether they allow him to return:

Rival petitions over reported return of footballer convicted of rape

Rival petitions have been started online over rumours linking former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans with a return to the club.

Ched Evans Credit: Press Association

The 25-year-old could be released from prison early next season and it has been reported that he could resume his career when he is released.

He was convicted of the rape of a 19-year-old woman in 2012.

Around 60,000 people have signed a petition against his return, while a campaign in support of the Welsh striker has attracted around 3,000 signatures.

The petition in support of Evans says signatories believe he deserves another chance and in no way condone rape.

The petition against Evans states: "For the male leaders of the club to endorse him and "welcome him back" is an absolute humiliation to all women".

In a previous statement the club said: "The club can confirm that, as part of its ongoing policy of providing a duty of care to former employees and their families, it was in contact with Mr Evans subsequent to his conviction."

Sheffield United stressed today that Evans is not an employee.

Ched Evans loses rape conviction appeal

Former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has lost a challenge against his conviction for rape.

The striker had his case rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

The 23-year-old was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room. Evans denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping her at a hotel in North Wales in May last year.

Lord Judge, rejecting the conviction challenge by Evans, said:

We can see no possible basis which would justify us interfering with the verdict of the jury, which heard all the evidence and reflected on it after careful summing up by the judge.

– Lord Judge

The judges also threw out a bid by Evans to have his sentence reduced.

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