Controversial Welsh striker Ched Evans has returned to football today with League One side Chesterfield opting not to wait for the outcome in his rape retrial before announcing the signing.
— Chesterfield FC (@ChesterfieldFC) June 20, 2016
Chesterfield announced the news with a strangely worded statement on their website.
Chesterfield Football Club are delighted to announce that Wales international striker Ched Evans, formerly of Sheffield United, Norwich City and Manchester City, will be joining the club on July 1.
They ended the statement saying:
There will be no further comments or statements relating to this matter and Chesterfield Football Club respectfully requests that the media allow Ched and his team-mates to concentrate on a very busy pre-season schedule.
His retrial will take place in October after his original conviction was quashed in April this year. Evans was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman on April 20th 2012, and served two-and-a-half years of a five year sentence.
The striker - who signed a one-year deal with the option for another - has previously played for Manchester City, Norwich and Sheffield United, and amassed 13 caps for Wales, scoring a solitary goal. His last game in professional football was four years ago for Sheffield United.
In a 2015 Chesterfield stated regarding Evans "please note that we wouldn't sign him."