The chairman of Scottish soccer club Raith Rovers has apologized to fans for the signing of David Goodwillie, who was found by a judge in a civil case to have raped a woman, saying the player will not be selected.
Raith confirmed they would be looking to cancel the signing of Goodwillie, who was bought for an undisclosed fee from League 1 side Clyde.
Raith’s decision to award him a two-and-a-half-year deal on Monday sparked a fierce backlash, prompting a number of supporters and key staff to withdraw their endorsement.
In a statement on behalf of the board posted on the club’s website, John Sim said: “First, I want to apologize wholeheartedly to our fans, sponsors, players and the wider Raith Rovers community for the distress and anger caused. in the last days.
“We were wrong. In coming to our original decision, we focused too much on football issues and not enough on what this decision would mean for our club and the wider community.
“Over the past few days, we have listened carefully to fans who have reached out and I am very appreciative of their honesty. As president, as a board of directors, and as a management team, we have all learned a hard but valuable lesson.
“This unfortunate episode is something we all bitterly regret and we are now fully committed to making things right. Therefore, I can confirm that, following a meeting of the Raith Rovers board, the player will not be selected by Raith Rovers and we will enter into discussions with the player regarding his contractual position.
“We share a desire to do what is best for our club and we will do everything in our power to regain the trust of the Raith Rovers family.”
In response to Goodwillie’s signing, Raith’s women’s team severed ties with the club and best-selling crime novelist Val McDermid withdrew her shirt sponsorship.
Goodwillie and his former Dundee United teammate David Robertson were sued for damages for rape by Denise Clair, who waived her right to anonymity, in a landmark case in 2017.
The couple had not been prosecuted, but the civil court ruled that they had raped Clair after meeting her on a night out in West Lothian in 2011. He was awarded £100,000 in damages. They denied the accusation and appealed against the sentence, but lost.
Goodwillie, now 32, was fined £250 for beating a man in a Stirling nightclub in 2008 and pleaded guilty four years later to assaulting a man in Glasgow city centre.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism