PFA chief under fire over Ched Evans `Hillsborough` comments
Professional Footballers` Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor has risked angering the families of the Hillsborough victims after comparing their situation with that of convicted rapist Ched Evans.
London: Professional Footballers` Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor has risked angering the families of the Hillsborough victims after comparing their situation with that of convicted rapist Ched Evans.
Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman and is looking for a new club following his release from prison in October after serving half of a five-year sentence.
The 26-year-old former Wales striker appeared set to sign for Oldham this week after an offer from his old club Sheffield United to allow him to train was withdrawn due to protests last year.
But talks with Oldham ended after the club claimed threats were made to staff, and sponsors indicated they would pull out, with Evans blaming "mob rule tactics" for denying him a return to football.
PFA chief Taylor tried to maintain his support for Evans in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live on Thursday.
But instead he landed himself in trouble with an insensitive comparison to the Hillsborough disaster, which saw 96 Liverpool fans killed following a crush at the start of the FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest in 1989.
After years of fighting by the families of those who died, new inquests into the deaths began last year and are continuing, prompting Taylor to make the point that there were examples from the past when the justice system and the police had got things wrong.
"He would not be the first person or persons to have been found guilty and maintained their innocence and then been proved right," Taylor said.
"If we are talking about things in football, we know what happened, what was alleged to have happened at Hillsborough. And it`s now unravelling and we are finding it was very different to how it was portrayed at the time -- indeed by the police at the time.
"He (Evans) is in a very difficult situation because he`s been put through a wringer and the minute you show any sympathy for Ched everybody will say `Well, what about the other parties concerned?`"