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Tranmere chairman claims to have rejected approach for Ched Evans talks

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios claims to have turned down an approach from associates of Ched Evans' about the possibility of the convicted rapist playing for the club.

Tranmere chairman claims to have rejected approach for Ched Evans talks Credit: Press Association

Palios said he had twice been contacted by people on behalf of Evans about possible talks but refused to pursue the idea.

Evans, 25, wants to return to football after being released from prison last month. He served two and a half years of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.

Evans continues to protest his innocence and has lodged an appeal with the Criminal Case Review Commission.

He was initially given permission by former club Sheffield United to return to train with the club at the request of players' union, the Professional Footballers Association.

But following a backlash from Blades supporters, sponsors and patrons opposed to Evans' return - 160,000 people signed a petition against it - the club retracted its offer last week.

Palios, former chief executive of the Football Association, and wife Nicola took control at Tranmere in August.

He said in a statement released to the Liverpool Echo:

Tranmere has not been approached by Ched Evans or his management team to discuss him joining the club. However, on two occasions persons with a connection with Ched Evans offered to facilitate a discussion if I wished to pursue that. I strongly believe in the general principle that people have a right to rehabilitation after serving a sentence for a crime. However, I also take the view that whether any particular club would wish to employ someone who has been convicted of a very serious crime is a subjective decision for the club to take after considering all the circumstances, and that there is no simple right or wrong answer. Nicola and I are trying to re-establish the brand of Tranmere as a family-friendly club and bringing Ched Evans in would clearly have alienated a significant number of supporters. It would also have inevitably embroiled the club in much controversy and distraction, at a time when we need to keep a complete focus on rebuilding the club and setting firm foundations for the future. I therefore took the view that it would not be in the best interests of the club to seek a dialogue with Mr Evans, notwithstanding his undoubted footballing talents. Neither I nor the club will be making any further comment on this matter."

– Mark Palios, Tranmere chairman

Tranmere allowed Clayton McDonald, who was acquitted of rape when tried alongside Evans, to join the club on non-contract terms earlier in the season, but he was released after just one appearance.

Sheffield United fans at first home game since Ched Evans controversy

Sheffield United fans have been at a home game for the first time since the Ched Evans controversy.

A number of supporters this afternoon called for the club to now move on.

Yesterday Friday November 21, 2014, Blades bosses reacted angrily after being forced into a u-turn following the public outcry.

Kate Hemingway reports.


Ched's next move in doubt according to newspaper reports

Can Ched Evans play football abroad? As his former club Sheffield United play their first home game since deciding not to re-sign him, national newspapers debate the striker's future career moves.

Ched Evans football career could be in doubt Credit: Press Association

The striker, who was freed from jail after serving half of a five-year sentence for rape, was due to train with the Blades.

However the club took a dramatic u-turn and refused to take back the player.

It was thought Evans could kick-start his career in Turkey with his advisers eyeing the well-paid Turkish league.

A source told the Daily Star: "Ched had mentioned that Turkey is a good option for him."

But now the likely route has been stopped in its tracks after the Ministry of Justice said the terms of his sex offenders licence means it would be near impossible to work abroad.

According to the Daily Mail, sex offenders are required to have regular meetings with their offender manager. He will be on licence until 2016.

However it was said today it would be 'difficult or impossible' for a sex offender to meet the terms of their licence while working abroad.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman told The Daily Mail: "We do not comment on individual prisoners.

"In general terms, a sex offender on licence would have to have regular meetings with their offender manager and that is difficult or impossible to do if they are living abroad."

Evans, who plans to appeal his 2012 conviction for raping a teenage waitress in a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales, served half of the five-year sentence he handed.

The remainder of the sentence will be completed on licence, meaning he must regularly check in with an offender manager until 2016.

By the time he has completed his entire sentence, he will be 27, and will remain on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

  1. National

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."

PFA hope Evans will return after Blades u-turn

The Professional Footballers' Association is still hopeful that convicted rapist Ched Evans will be given an opportunity to return to the game after Sheffield United withdrew their offer to let him use their training facilities.

PFA hope Evans will return after Blades setback Credit: Press Association

The League One club announced on Thursday night that they had severed their ties with Evans after the decision to allow him to train with the club was met with widespread opposition and led to the resignation of four club patrons.

Olympic heptathlon gold medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill also asked that the club remove her name from one of the stands at Bramall Lane if the club opted to re-sign Evans. The PFA had initially asked the Blades to allow Evans to train with them, and said in a statement on Friday: "

We note Sheffield United's decision to retract the offer they made to Ched Evans for him to return to training with the club. It is not surprising given the subsequent delay in his return as the matter was debated and understandably strong opinions were aired.

We fully understand and respect the opposing views to Ched's return to Sheffield United and clearly part of the issue related to him returning to the club he was previously with at the time of his imprisonment.

With that in mind, it may ultimately be of benefit to both parties to move on and for Ched to look for a fresh start at a different club.We maintain our general position that the courts determine punishments and a return to society and a contribution to the community through employment is a key element of rehabilitation.

We do not agree that society should impose different rules for footballers which go beyond the position of the law. In that regard, it is hoped that Ched will be given an opportunity at another club to return to the job he is trained to do.

– PFA statement


  1. National

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.

  1. National

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."

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