Taylor faces Hillsborough criticism

Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor is facing calls to resign after he appeared to compare Ched Evans’ attempt to clear his name with the Hillsborough disaster.

Taylor made the comments in a radio interview after it emerged that Evans’ proposed move to Oldham had collapsed amid threats to club staff and their families.

Evans, now 26, was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman. He maintains the sex in a Rhyl hotel was consensual and protests his innocence. He was released from prison in October, after serving half of a five-year sentence.

An appeal against the conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012 and the case is currently being considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Taylor mentioned Evans’ situation alongside events that followed the Hillsborough tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.

After years of fighting by the families of those who died, new inquests into the deaths began last year and are continuing in Warrington.

Mr Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He would not be the first person or persons to have been found guilty and maintained their innocence and then been proved right.

“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’s 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?’

“And that’s why I’m making the point that nobody’s forgetting them.”

Mr Taylor added: “Obviously it’s not a good time for him – he needs support like everybody in this particular incident needs support, not least the woman concerned.”

His comments provoked immediate condemnation on social media, with Liverpool fans leading calls for him to resign.

Paul LFC Foreman‏ posted: “Expect nothing more than a P45 for #GordonTaylor in the morn from @PFA absolutely disgusting comments not even comparable #JFT96.”

Liverpool-based singer Pete Wylie said: “@PFA @LFC should withdraw the players from all activity-including playing-until Gordon Taylor apologises AND resigns+takes Evans too #JFT96.”

Nicola #JFT96‏ said: “#GordonTaylor#JFT96 have been fighting for 26yrs for Justice … Ched Evans convicted in a criminal Court for Rape after 2 appeals! #Resign.”

And Bex Knight tweeted: “Not sure what to make of this … words fail me.”

Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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