Ched Evans: 'Mob rule tactics' prevented Oldham Athletic move

Convicted rapist Ched Evans has said "mob rule tactics" prevented him joining Oldham Athletic after the club pulled out of the move following a public outcry.

Oldham's chief executive Neil Joy said the club pulled the plug on a deal to sign the striker following "vile and abusive threats, including death threats" to fans, sponsors and staff.

He also said the deal would have placed huge pressure on the club's finances with sponsors threatening to sever ties.

Reacting to the decision, Evans said: "It is with great sadness that today I have withdrawn from talks with Oldham Athletic.

"I would like to thank the Club, and those who have supported me in my lawful quest to find work.

"I apologise to the clubs supporters, sponsors and all those affected by the last 72 hours.

"Sadly the ‘mob rule’ tactics employed by the more radical elements of our society and the constant media reporting has had the desired influence on some sponsors and the club would face significant financial pressure if I joined them.

"The most significant issue for me was that owing to the threat of funding opportunities being withdrawn which may jeopardise the building of Oldham's new stand it would mean that workers would lose their jobs and others would be put at risk - that would simply not be fair."

Earlier, Evans issued a "wholehearted apology" for the "effects of that night" actions in 2011 but continues to maintain his innocence over his rape conviction.

The 26-year-old was released from prison in October after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a woman in a hotel room in 2011.