Preston have completed the signing of Ched Evans on loan from Fleetwood until the end of the season - sparking outrage amongst a number of supporters on social media.
Reports suggest the 32-year-old striker was recently involved in a fiery bust-up with Joey Barton, which is said to have led to the latter’s sacking as Fleetwood boss earlier this week.
However, it is certainly not the first time Evans has been at the centre of controversy, as in 2016 he was found not guilty of the rape of a 19-year-old woman following a retrial of his well-documented court case.
Preston fans have therefore taken to Twitter to berate the club for signing him, with some even refusing to watch their beloved team until he is gone.
One wrote: “An absolutely pathetic and embarrassing signing in every conceivable way. You've just pit the fans against one another and besmirched the club's name to loan a 32-year-old League One striker for 6 months. Won't be seeing a penny from me for a long f****** time after this. Awful.”
Another said: “So disappointed in this. I cannot support this. I cannot cheer if he scores. I cannot celebrate and praise a man who treats women with such disrespect. I cannot celebrate a PNE win if he is involved. That hurts.”
A third commented: “You've seen the last money from me for as long as he wears the shirt. Hugely disappointing, utterly baffling decision.”
While one simply asked: “In the nicest way possible, why?”
Preston manager Alex Neil, on the other hand, is delighted to welcome Evans to Deepdale and believes the veteran star can improve his side.
Neil said: “He will add competition at the top end of the pitch. He is very physical; he wants to look after the ball, take it into his feet and get you up the pitch and equally score goals.
“He will be really excited about getting an opportunity in the Championship He’s an experienced player; he is a good lad – I have spoken to him at length and his character as much as anything else will be important for the team.”
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Evans, who is cup tied for this weekend’s FA Cup third round clash with Wycombe, said: “I am really excited for the next six months, getting back to the Championship is brilliant. I’m really pleased for the opportunity and I’m looking to kick on.
“I’m really pleased to be here, the facilities and everything are brilliant and Preston North End is a club in a great position at the moment to kick on for the rest of the season.”