Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn has apologised for the club’s signing of David Goodwillie, who had been judged a rapist in civil court.
Breaking silence over the matter, McGlynn said the Raith had to apologise for bringing the club and supporters into the furore caused by signing the striker from Scottish League One side Clyde FC.
The manager said the last ten days had been “extremely difficult” for everyone involved.
“We apologise enormously for the distress that we’ve brought to our fans, our sponsors, anyone that we’ve hurt in any way at all, it was never our intention to do that,” he said.
At a press conference alongside captain Kyle Benedictus on Thursday, he said Goodwillie is not training and would not play for the club but that discussions about his contract were ongoing at board level.
“From a football point of view to be able to get the top goalscorer in Scotland we felt that was something we should pursue,” McGlynn said.
“We completely underestimated the depth of the feeling that has come from that signing.
“If we could turn the clock back, we would do it in a minute.
“There’s no winners in this.”
At a civil case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in 2017, Goodwillie and his former Dundee United team-mate, David Robertson, were judged to have raped Denise Clair and ordered to pay her damages of £100,000.
No criminal action has been brought against either man and Robertson has since retired from professional football.
Asked if he had considered his position over the backlash, McGlynn said he had “considered an awful lot of things over the last ten days”.
He said he wanted to have the chance to make up for the mistake.
“I think there’s a lot of good work being done here at Raith Rovers Football Club,” he said.
“I want to get the opportunity to build the bridges and get the people back.”