Ched Evans: Oldhamdrop move for convicted rapist after 'threats'Oldham Athletichave decided against signing convicted rapist Ched Evans following threats tothe club's "staff and their families".
A club directortold BBC sports editor Dan Roan that a staff member was informed a namedrelative would be raped if the deal went ahead.
There has alsobeen "enormous pressure from sponsors", the board member said.
Evans is expectedto release a statement saying he understands the club's change of heart.
The Walesinternational was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman.
He was releasedfrom prison in October after serving half of a five-year sentence and the ownerof the League One club, Simon Corney, had said on Wednesday that a deal for the26-year-old striker was "80% likely".
But after days ofintense speculation Oldham have called off the move.
GreaterManchester's chief constable Sir Peter Fahy said his force would be launchingan investigation into threats to the club's staff and their families.
"It istotally unacceptable," Sir Peter told BBC Radio 5 live.
"We will becontacting Oldham Athletic to make sure that it's investigated."
Jim McMahon, theleader of Oldham Council, urged "all sides of the debate to show restraintand calm".
"In recentdays we've seen an horrendous 'trial by social media' with intimidation, abuseand harassment on a scale that has cast a terrible shadow," said McMahon.
"The wholeepisode has divided the town and public opinion and there are no winners in allthis - not least the reputation of our club and town."
More than 60,000people signed a petition calling on Oldham not to sign former Sheffield Unitedplayer Evans, while a number of campaigners and politicians voiced oppositionto the move.
Threatening the families of staff members is atrocious andanyone who agrees with that is disgusting. Regardless of Evan’s returning as afootballer, other people shouldn’t be condemned on his behalf, least of all thefamilies of the staff at Oldham.
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