Incoming Clyde chairman Norris Innes has defended the club’s decision to sign former Scotland striker David Goodwillie.
The Bully Wee have come under attack after recruiting the 28-year-old on a deal until the end of season last week, even though a civil case in January ruled that Goodwillie and former St Johnstone midfielder David Robertson raped Denise Clair in 2011. The pair were ordered to pay £100,000 in damages.
One-time Dundee United, Aberdeen and Blackburn player Goodwillie left Plymouth by mutual consent following the verdict but is now back playing with the Scottish League Two side.
That move has not gone down well with Clyde fan and MSP John Mason after he said he would boycott games, while Rape Crisis Scotland have also condemned the signing.
Norris, who is already involved in club business but will not officially take on chairmanship until next month, has explained the reasons for allowing Goodwillie to join the club.
He said: “Courage and conviction is required at times, especially when, in this case, you are seeking to help someone when others want to punish him and restrict his human rights.
“David is a free man with a financial charge on his head, this arising from the Civil Action against him. He is appealing the Judge’s opinion and it will eventually establish a status and end point, but to be clear, Clyde FC will play no part in this. It is down to others to deal with.
“There is no positive purpose or societal gain whatsoever to wish ill on him and allow his talents to stagnate and waste.
“Football and society would be failing if this was the allowed to happen.
“If he ultimately has responsibilities to honour through any final binding decision, he should use the skills at his disposal to earn and honour it.
“Is it not right to create the conditions for him to potentially service society’s demands on him?
“I have helped people in need in the past and it can be testing and challenging, especially when they – sometimes – let you and themselves down, but I will not change. If the opportunity arises to do so then we should all embrace this approach.
“I think we have to beware of those who seek to use these matters for political and personal benefit and we should seek what is in us to be authentic and true and make the right decisions, even if it isn’t universally or politically popular.”