Maltese club aim to give Ched Evans 'second chance' with short-term contract

Convicted rapist offered a deal by Maltese Premier League leaders Hibernians FC.

Evans: served two-and-a-half years of five-year rape sentence.
Evans: served two-and-a-half years of five-year rape sentence.
Image: Stu Forster

CONVICTED RAPIST CHED Evans deserves a “second chance” according to the Maltese football club that have offered him a contract.

Hibernians FC, currently the runaway leaders in the Maltese Premier League, are willing to give the 26-year-old former Sheffield United striker a route back into professional football, with a deal to play for them until the end of this season.

The driving force behind the deal appears to be Stephen Vaughan — Hibernians vice-president and former owner of English club Chester City.

Technical director Jeffrey Farrugia confirmed that Hibernians are waiting on confirmation from Evans representatives in order to complete the move.

Speaking to Sky News, Farrugia stated that the player being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011 was “not an issue” when it came to making Evans an offer.

“He’s paid for what he did so for us it is not an issue,” Farrugia said.

Our club will open the door right open for him to come over here and start his new career in professional football.

“Through our vice-president Mr Steve Vaughan we have offered a contract until the end of the season to this player to come over to Malta and play for our top team.

“We are waiting for his agent and we are waiting for a call from Mr Steve Vaughan to give us the confirmation when he’s coming to Malta.

“The contract will be until the end of the season — around 26 games.”

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Farrugia underlined his stance and claimed Hibernians fans are enthusiastic about the prospect of Evans plying his trade with the club.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong message,” he added.

Everybody in their life does mistakes. You should have your second chance.

“Our supporters and fans are waiting for him, minute-by-minute, to come over here to our club. This is the reaction from our supporters.”

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This attitude would stand at odds with strong reactions against Evans from English clubs linked with his signature since he was released on probation in October, having served two-and-a-half years of a five-year sentence.

An offer made by Sheffield United for their former star to train with them was withdrawn amid sustained local opposition, while Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers and Hartlepool United quickly distanced themselves from reported interest in Evans.

Hibernians hold a 15-point lead over defending champions Valletta after 16 games of the Maltese Premier League season and Farrugia believes signing Evans would hand a further boost to their squad.

“He’s played top level football and I think our players will learn a lot from him,” he said.

“It sends a message for our club to have top players like him in our squad.

“We are leading with 15 points on the second team so we have a big chance to win the title and compete in the Champions League as well.”

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