World

Oldham sponsor ends deal with English club over 'imminent signing' of convicted rapist Evans

FILE - This is a Nov. 2, 2009 file photo of  British soccer player Ched Evans.  Evan's is an  experienced soccer player and wants to play _ but it’s beginning to look as if public opinion in Britain may prevent forward Ched Evans from ever resuming his professional soccer career. Evans, 26, is out on probation after serving prison time for raping a 19-year-old in his hotel room in 2011.  Yet public reaction to his possible return to the nation’s favorite sport is becoming more and more vehement. (AP Photo'Anna Gowthorpe/PA, File) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

FILE - This is a Nov. 2, 2009 file photo of British soccer player Ched Evans. Evan's is an experienced soccer player and wants to play _ but it’s beginning to look as if public opinion in Britain may prevent forward Ched Evans from ever resuming his professional soccer career. Evans, 26, is out on probation after serving prison time for raping a 19-year-old in his hotel room in 2011. Yet public reaction to his possible return to the nation’s favorite sport is becoming more and more vehement. (AP Photo'Anna Gowthorpe/PA, File) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

A sponsor for English soccer club Oldham says the "imminent signing" of convicted rapist Ched Evans has prompted the company to end its backing.

Oldham has yet to announce the signing of Evans, saying Monday it was conducting due diligence on the matter.

But sponsor Verlin Rainwater Solutions, which makes gutters, believes that Evans resuming his football career with the third-division club would send out the wrong message.

Company director Craig Verling says "after receiving the news regarding the imminent signing of Ched Evans it is with great regret that Verlin Rainwater Solutions will no longer be associated with Oldham Athletic."

Evans, a former Sheffield United and Manchester City striker, was released from jail in October after serving time for raping a 19-year-old woman in his hotel room in 2011.