Club threatened with eviction if they sign convicted rapist David Goodwillie

David Goodwillie - Club threatened with eviction if they sign convicted rapist David Goodwillie

David Goodwillie (pictured) and former Dundee United team-mate David Robertson were ordered to pay £100,000 in damages in 2017 after a judge ruled they raped a woman in 2011 – PA/Jeff Holmes

The leader of a council in Scotland has warned one of its football clubs they would lose their ground if they signed convicted rapist David Goodwillie.

The striker was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case in 2017 and moves to clubs in Scotland, England and Australia have broken down previously amid strong opposition to his signing from supporters.

Goodwillie, 34, played for Glasgow United in a friendly last month and the club play their home games at Greenfield Park stadium. They also train at Greenfield Football Centre, which is owned by the council.

Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council, 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.”

A spokeswoman for Rape Crisis Scotland said: “Footballers are role models – particularly for young people – and it’s not OK 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.”

Glasgow United play in the West of Scotland third division – the country’s ninth tier – and last week a spokesperson said the club met Goodwillie recently.

“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,” they told BBC Scotland.

“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 [and] we don’t just turn people away.”

Goodwillie and former Dundee United teammate David Robertson were ordered to pay £100,000 in damages in 2017 after a judge ruled they raped a woman in 2011. Neither player faced a criminal trial after prosecutors cited a lack of evidence.

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