Club warned they will lose ground if they sign disgraced Goodwillie

Rape Crisis Scotland have also hit out at the striker's potential return to football.

Council warn Glasgow United they will lose ground if they sign disgraced footballer David Goodwillie SNS Group

Glasgow City Council has issued a warning to a local football club that they will lose access to play at their current home ground if they sign disgraced striker David Goodwillie.

Rape Crisis Scotland has also hit out at Glasgow United’s decision to give the former Scotland striker a chance at resurrecting his career in the ninth tier of Scottish football.

The 34-year-old, who was ruled to have raped a woman by a civil court judge in 2017, has been unable to find a club since his move to Raith Rovers caused widespread controversy with sponsors, fans and high-profile supporters hitting out.

Several potential moves since, including in England and Australia, have fallen through after the clubs faced criticism.

However, he was recently handed a trial at West of Scotland Third Division side Glasgow United and took part in a friendly for the club based in Shettleston earlier this month.

A spokesman for Glasgow United then reportedly told the BBC that the former Scotland and Dundee United forward “deserves a chance”.

But council leader Susan Aitken has now issued a statement warning that they will no longer be permitted to play at Greenfield if they make the signing permanent.

A statement released on Saturday said: “David Goodwillie has been found, in court, to be a rapist.

“However, in more than 12 years, he has never once shown any kind of contrition or remorse.

“Any club that signs him is making a very clear statement about its attitude to the safety of women and girls – both in sport and in its community.

“It would be an outrageous decision, wholly at odds with how community facilities like Greenfield should be run.

“I’ve asked officers to look at the council’s agreement with Glasgow United and made it clear that I’m ready for the city to walk away.”

Meanwhile Rape Crisis Scotland say any potential signing would send a “clear message of disregard to survivors of rape and sexual violence“.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We are deeply disappointed that Glasgow United FC appear to be happy to send such a clear message of disregard to survivors of rape and sexual violence.

“Fundamentally – women’s lives are more important than men’s talent or careers. Footballers are role models – particularly for young people – and it’s not okay to have someone in this position who has been found by a senior judge to be a rapist.

“We wonder whether those who took this decision to select David Goodwillie for play last week considered how it may look or feel to survivors of sexual violence to have to watch somebody judged to have committed rape be celebrated and applauded.

“This was a bad decision that sends entirely the wrong message.

“Reports like these can be difficult for survivors. If you need to talk to someone, our helpline is open from 5pm until midnight every evening on 08088 01 03 02. Webchat, email and text support is also available.”

Glasgow United have not confirmed if they plan to offer Goodwillie a contract.

But a spokesperson told the BBC: “After listening to David and meeting his young family and the rejection he has had from numerous clubs who pulled out of signing him after sponsors made threats to pull out we thought he deserves a chance.

“All he wants is to be left in peace and be allowed to play the game he loves.

“We are a club who has a number of members with varying needs we look after in different ways, we don’t just turn people away.”

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