Sports Direct urged to scrap Oldham sponsorship if rapist footballer Ched Evans signs
Oldham Athletic sponsors Sports Direct has come under renewed pressure to cancel their £1m contract with the league One club following reports that it has given "reassurances" that it will not withdraw from the deal if disgraced Sheffield United player Ched Evans is signed.
The convicted rapist has courted controversy since his release with campaigners petitioning against his return to the game with Northumbria police and crime commissioner Vera Baird the latest to enter the fray.
In a letter to Newcastle and Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley Baird wrote: “It is tantamount to saying that sexual abuse is okay as long as you can play football. If Oldham Athletic decide to appoint him, I would urge you to withdraw Sports Direct sponsorship at the club.”
Oldham’s main stand sponsors, Verlin Rainwater Solutions has already said it will pull out of its deal if Evans is signed, as has Mecca Bingo, but another sponsor, Web Applications UK, has said it would continue to support the team whatever its decision.
Club chairman Neil Joy said the club had yet to make a decision over the player who has already been refused a return to his former club after sponsors there threatened to walk out.