A deal that would have seen a convicted rapist sign for soccer club Oldham Athletic has been called off, according to media reports, as a number of sponsors behind the team pulled out.
The controversy surrounds soccer player Ched Evans, who was jailed for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, Wales in 2011.
Evans was released in October after serving half of his five-year sentence. In a statement on Thursday, Evans maintained his innocence but said he wanted to "wholeheartedly apologize for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned".
Several media reports on Thursday suggested that the club has ended talks with Evans, despite Oldham Athletic owner Simon Corney saying on Wednesday that there was an "80 percent chance" the deal would go through, in an interview with The Jewish Chronicle.