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Press conference expected later over rumours Ched Evans may join Oldham Athletic

A press conference is expected to take place later over the potential signing of convicted rapist Ched Evans to Oldham Athletic.

The striker has been without a club since he left prison in October. Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on Oldham to refuse to sign him. The club are yet to make any formal announcement.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has always taken the stance that Evans deserved the chance to resume his career following his release from prison.

It is due to hold a press conference on Monday concerning the player.

Lawyer compares Evans to Guilford Four

Ched Evans has been compared to the Guilford Four by a lawyer. Credit: PA

A lawyer for a body representing footballers has likened convicted rapist Ched Evans to the Guildford Four as a fourth high-profile Sheffield United patron resigned over the ongoing row.

It came after former Housemartins and Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton based in Manchester stepped down as a patron of Sheffield United's Community Foundation, following the examples of TV presenter Charlie Webster, 60s pop star Dave Berry and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham since Evans returned to training with the Yorkshire club.

The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland defended Evans on their official website, claiming he could be innocent and that even if guilty, he deserves a chance of redemption.

An article written by the association's solicitor Stuart Gilhooly refers to Evans' crime as alleged despite the fact he was found guilty in court and served half of a five-year jail sentence.

This crime, as alleged, was at the bottom end. There was no violence and thankfully the victim has no recollection of it. This, I hasten to add, does not make it right, or anything close to it, but it is nonetheless a mitigating factor.

– Stuart Gilhooly, The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland

The Guildford Four were released from jail in 1989 after their convictions for alleged roles in IRA bombings were overturned, while the Birmingham Six - jailed over similar allegations - had their convictions quashed in 1991.