Rival petitions have been started online over rumours linking former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans with a return to the club.
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.
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.
The judges also threw out a bid by Evans to have his sentence reduced.
Nine people, including three from Sheffield, have pleaded guilty to revealing the identity of a woman who was raped by the former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans.
The woman's name was circulated online on Twitter and Facebook, despite the law that gives lifelong anonymity to victims and alleged victims in such cases. Ian Lang has this report from Prestatyn.
Nine people have pleaded guilty to revealing online the identity of a woman raped by former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans.
The victim's name was circulated on social network sites, including Twitter and Facebook, following Evans's conviction at Caernarfon Crown Court in April.
Some of the defendants also launched abuse at the victim, calling her names. They all claimed that they were not aware that naming her was a criminal offence.
The law gives the victims and alleged victims of rape and other sexual offences lifelong anonymity.
Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Rhyl hotel room.
He is due to appeal against the conviction at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.
Five people have been charged over the naming online of the woman raped by former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans.Read the full story ›
Five more people have been charged with revealing online the identity of a woman raped by footballer Ched Evans. They include three men from Sheffield - Paul Devine aged 26, Daniel Cardwell, aged 25, and Shaun Littler, aged 22.
Two people have been charged with offences relating to messages posted online that identified the victim in the rape case which led to the conviction of footballer Ched Evans.
The Crown Prosecution Service has been working alongside North Wales Police as they have investigated a number of alleged offences committed online in the aftermath of the Ched Evans rape trial earlier this year. We have completed reviews in relation to a number of the suspects under investigation. We concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Dominic Green, 23, from Rhyl and Alexandra Hewitt, 24, from Broughton, with the offence of publishing a matter likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act.
In order to prosecute this offence we require the consent of the Attorney General. We have liaised with the Attorney General's Office and sent a submission to the Attorney General who granted consent to the prosecution. Both have been charged by North Wales Police and bailed to appear before Prestatyn Magistrates' Court on the 5th November. One further suspect (who is under the age of 18 and thus cannot be named) has been issued with a final warning by North Wales Police.
Evidence relating to a number of other suspects has been presented to us as part of this investigation and our evidential reviews are continuing."
Sheffield United and footballer Ched Evans has lost the first stage of his appeal against his rape conviction, his lawyers said. The 23-year-old striker was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.
A spokesman for law firm Brabners Chaffe Street in Manchester said they had received notification from the Court of Appeal that the judge had refused Evans' application for leave to appeal against his conviction.
Evans was found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in North Wales last May. He admitted having sex with her, but the woman told the jury that she had no memory of the incident - and the prosecution argued that she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has lodged an appeal against his conviction for rape.
The 23 year old Welsh international was jailed for 5 years for a sex attack on a 19 year old woman in May last year.
A spokesman for the court of appeal in London today confirmed that an appeal has been lodged against both the conviction and sentence. A date has yet to be set for the hearing.
Sheffield United have sacked their jailed striker Ched Evans.
The 23-year-old Welsh international was given a five year sentence last month after being found guilty of raping a 19 year old following a night out in Rhyl in North Wales a year ago.
Evans - one of 11 players released today by the Blades - cost the club £3 million pounds when they bought him from Manchester City in 2009. He scored 48 goals in 113 appearances.
He is appealing against his conviction.