Former Scotland international David Goodwillie has rejoined Clyde on loan from Raith Rovers following a furious backlash over his move to the Kirkcaldy club.
The purchase of Goodwillie from Clyde sparked a furore given the 32-year-old was found by a judge in a civil case in 2017 to have raped a woman.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Clyde said: “Following an initial approach by Raith Rovers, and subsequent agreement between the two clubs, we can confirm that David Goodwillie has returned to Broadwood on loan until the end of the 2021-22 season.
“This enables David to return to first team activities including training and playing and, in doing so, continue his career in football at the current time.”
Raith Rovers thanked Clyde for their cooperation in reaching the loan agreement.
The club posted on Twitter: “The club can confirm that we have agreed terms with Clyde FC for a loan arrangement for David Goodwillie until the end of the current season. We would like to thank Clyde FC for their cooperation.”
Several prominent supporters, directors and sponsors, including high-profile author Val McDermid, withdrew their backing from Raith following the signing of Goodwillie and a number of staff and volunteers quit their roles.
The signing also saw two club directors resign, the ladies captain Tyler Rattray quit and the ladies’ team – now known as the McDermid Ladies – break their ties with the club.
Raith initially doubled down on the decision, before performing a U-turn and apologising to fans and the wider community four days later.
Following reports of Goodwillie’s loan move to Clyde, McDermid tweeted: “Disgusted doesn’t even begin to touch it. All that mealy-mouthed stuff from the board about contract-ending negotiations?
“Do Raith Rovers think we’ll all have forgotten about this by the end of the season?”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon labelled the return move “as wrong as the signing by Raith Rovers” and added: “I strongly support rehabilitation but it must start with remorse. Someone who has shown none for the trauma he caused cannot be a sporting role model.”
Sturgeon also shared a post from Rape Crisis Scotland describing the transfer as “a shameful decision that sends yet another clear message of disregard to survivors of rape and sexual violence”.
North Lanarkshire Council, which directly owns Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld, said on Tuesday night it was reviewing all its commercial partnership arrangements with Clyde following the club’s decision to bring back Goodwillie on loan.
In a statement, the council said: “In light of Clyde Football Club’s announcement confirming the return of David Goodwillie, we are reviewing all our commercial partnership arrangements with the club.
“We will announce the outcome as soon as all information has been considered and communicated directly with the club.
“The stadium had previously been under the management of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd, a separate entity to the council, but is now directly under council control.
“The council utterly condemns all and any violence towards, or abuse of, women. We offer a range of services to support women who experience abuse through Rape Crisis Lanarkshire and Aura and we would urge anyone in this position to make contact.”