Ched Evans signed by Chesterfield and hardly causes a stir
Evans said he was “very excited and privileged to be resuming my career” at the League One side, who have signed him on a one-year contract from 1 July.
In 2012, the 27-year-old was convicted of the 2011 rape of a 19-year-old woman and sentenced to five years in prison. He served half his term before being released in October 2014.
Evans has always insisted he is innocent and succeeded in having his conviction quashed at the court of appeal earlier this year. The court has ordered a retrial, due to begin on 4 October. Evans pleaded not guilty at Cardiff crown court earlier this month.
Chesterfield’s current manager, Danny Wilson, was previously manager at Sheffield United, where Evans was a £20,000-a-week star before his conviction. The club released him from his contract at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Reports suggest his salary at Chesterfield will be a more modest £2,000 a week, for which, the player said in a statement released by the club, “I hope to make a valuable contribution both on and off the pitch for the football club, the fans and the community.”
Chesterfield’s chairman, Dave Allen, said the club was “delighted to have secured the services of an outstanding footballer, who is now keen to get back to work and score goals”.
Allen said that both Wilson and Chris Morgan – the the first team coach, who also came from Sheffield United – “speak highly of him [Evans] from their time together at Bramall Lane”.
“Chesterfield Football Club have given a great deal of thought to this signing and, following the court’s decision, we are in no doubt that Ched Evans should be welcomed back into his profession as a professional footballer,” Allen added.
Evans, who has 13 international caps for Wales, had hoped to resume his professional career after his release from prison, but despite being linked with a number of clubs he was unable to secure a contract while his conviction stood.
But whilst those possibilities with firstly Sheffield United and teams like Oldham caused an outcry in the press there has hardly been much coverage this time around with the retrail pending.