Ched Evans Apology As Oldham Deal Off
8 January 2015, 14:23 | Updated: 8 January 2015, 14:29
The Former Sheffield United and Wales striker - whose move to Oldham Athletic has fallen through - has made his apology in a statement issued through the Professional Footballers' Association.
He said: "I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing referral to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.
"Finally, it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so."
He added: "I am grateful for the support of the PFA in helping me try to return to football and continue my career.
"Upon legal advice, I was told not to discuss the events in question. This silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth."
Evans' proposed signing for Oldham has fallen through due to the uproar that has surrounded the negotiations.
The League One club have told Heart the deal is off.
Earlier the shadow sports minister Clive Efford asked the FA to block the deal.
Prime Minister, David Cameron's told Heart he doesn't think that's the right approach: "Football players are role models for young people and they have to think what will the impact be on the club, what will the impact be on young people but I'd rather clubs demonstrated that responsibility and took the decisions themselves rather than feeling anyone else has to step in"
One Oldham board member's reported to have said the deal had been called off due to "enormous pressure from sponsors and threats to staff and their families".
The collapse of the deal comes just a day after Oldham's joint owner Simon Corney said there was an "80%'' chance of the 26-year-old being signed.
The PFA has also issued a statement saying "we were not 'driving' any deal".
The statement said: ``The PFA's position remains the same, as we have expressed previously, that any club which decides to sign him would receive our support.
"We fully recognise that this is a delicate and emotive case and entirely respect that there are opposing views."
Evans was released from prison last October, halfway through a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in Rhyl, North Wales, in 2011. He is still on licence following his release.
One attempt to appeal his conviction has been rejected but his case is now being considered by the CCRC.