Glasgow United have said they are “supporting” disgraced footballer David Goodwillie despite being warned they could lose access to their current home ground if they sign the player.
The 34-year-old, who was ruled to have raped a woman in a civil court in 2017, has been unable to find a club since his move to Raith Rovers caused widespread controversy.
He was subsequently released and several potential moves since, including in England and Australia, have fallen through after the clubs involved faced criticism.
After appearing as a trialist in a friendly for amateur side Glasgow United earlier this month, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken issued a statement warning that they could no longer be permitted to play at Greenfield if they make the signing permanent.
However a spokesperson for the West of Scotland League third division club, based in Shettleston, said they would not “walk away” and described the controversy surrounding the footballer as a “witch hunt that has gone on far too long”.
They said: “David Goodwillie has never been charged for this offence. He has no criminal record and has never appeared on any offenders register.
“How can he show contrite or remorse for something he staunchly claims he did not do?”
“We do a lot of work in our community helping those in need and this is only an extension of that work.
“We are supporting David with his mental health and will continue to do so. This witch hunt has gone on for far to long and the use of any person’s life as a political football is unacceptable.”
STV News understands that the club is part of Shettleston Community Sports Trust – who run the centre on a rolling licence from Glasgow Life and have been negotiating with the city to transfer the facility on a long-term basis under the “People Make Glasgow Communities initiative”.
A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council has said they need to “consider whether the public interest is served by transferring a community facility to an organisation in these circumstances.”