A topic that has been very hot in the last week is the release of convicted rapist and ex-footballer, Ched Evans.
There has been much debate as to whether Evans should be allowed to play football ever again and it has emerged that Evans is going to begin training with his former club, Sheffield United. There are enormous problems that could arise with the club allowing this to happen, and their image could be damaged forever.
It has already been confirmed that one of the club’s current sponsors, DBL Logistics, will end their association with the club if they choose to re-sign Evans. It’s also been reported that three club patrons have already resigned over the matter.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, London’s 2012 heroine, has also come out saying that she will request to have the stand that is named after her at Bramall Lane changed – another aspect which may influence the club’s decision.
Despite that, there’s no guarantee that Evans will be able to perform at the same level after serving five years in prison, so there is much uncertainly around just how long his professional career could last.
I personally cannot see how his return could benefit the club in any way. There are so many factors that come into play and he could significantly damage the club’s reputation and dignity, even more so than he has already just by allowing him to train and associate himself with the club since his sentence ended.
The fans could also turn their backs on the club and create unwanted bad media and a reduction in ticket sales, which could also have a negative affect on sponsorship and encourage others, like DBL Logistics, to follow suit.
However, there’s a little voice in my head saying ‘he’s done his time, everyone deserves a second chance’.
Then again, his offence was very serious and Sheffield United will want to be seen as professional and keep their integrity, which could be negatively affected in they decide to re-employ Evans. It would also provide a bad example to young fans, or even affect the club’s future support.
Honestly, I cannot decide, but I feel that the cons far outweigh the pros for Sheffield United.