Scottish Championship side Raith Rovers recently announced the signing of David Goodwillie on transfer deadline day. The striker made the move from Clyde to Raith Rovers after a prolific spell with the Scottish League One side (two leagues below the Scottish Premiership). Raith Rovers immediately came under criticism for the signing due to Goodwillie’s past allegations of rape that he was ruled guilty of in civil courts, although no criminal proceedings were taken. After much backlash, Raith Rovers have decided that the player will not be selected by the club and they aim to negotiate a contract termination.
Raith Rovers Will Not Select David Goodwillie
Fans of the Scottish club weren’t happy with the signing, with one loyal supporter even setting up a fundraiser for Rape Crisis Scotland that raised more than £8000. Sponsors and important figures also began to distance themselves from the club, notably main sponsor Val McDermid. The club has been quick to respond to the backlash.
In an update issued by the Chairman of Raith Rovers, it was confirmed that the club will not select David Goodwillie for the team and that they got it wrong. Here is the update in full:
“I firstly want to apologize wholeheartedly to our fans, sponsors, players and the wider Raith Rovers community for the anguish and anger caused over the past few days.
We got it wrong.
In reaching our original decision, we focused far too much on football matters and not enough on what this decision would mean for our club and the community as a whole.
Over the past couple of days, we listened carefully to the fans who have got in touch and I’m very grateful for their honesty. As chairman, as a board and as a management team, we have all learned a hard but valuable lesson.
This very unfortunate episode is something that we all bitterly regret and we are now wholly committed to making things right. I can therefore confirm that, following a meeting of the Raith Rovers board, the player will not be selected by Raith Rovers and we will enter into discussions with the player regarding his contractual position.
We share a desire to do what is best for our club and will be doing everything in our power to regain the trust and confidence of the Raith Rovers family.
On Behalf of the Board of Raith Rovers FC”
Whether this is the end of the matter for Raith Rovers remains to be seen as there is some pressure for the board to stand down. This may be a story with long-lasting ripple effects for the ownership structure at the club.