Clyde are terminating the loan signing of David Goodwillie from Raith Rovers after the move was widely criticized.
Goodwillie’s return on loan from Raith Rovers was confirmed on Tuesday and resulted in widespread criticism from inside and outside the club.
Clyde’s Ladies general manager resigned following the deal and the whole squad followed suit by stepping away from the Cumbernauld outfit.
In a statement on Thursday, Clyde said: “The club are tonight in the process of terminating the loan agreement with Raith Rovers for David Goodwillie.”
The former Scotland international was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case in 2017, six years after being initially charged.
No criminal proceedings were instructed against the 32-year-old but he was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages by a judge after it was ruled he raped a woman in a flat in West Lothian in 2011.
In a statement, Clyde Ladies said: “We can today confirm the general manager/secretary of Clyde Ladies has resigned on hearing the news of the return of David Goodwillie to the club.
“All of the players in the ladies team have discussed the situation with the general manager/secretary and they are all in agreement that we no longer wish to play for Clyde FC. This will start with immediate effect.
“As a group of female footballers all we wish to do is play the sport that we love but due to the current circumstances we are unable to do this.
“At this time, we wish to ensure the wellbeing and privacy of our players therefore we would ask that players are not approached personally for comment regarding this matter.”
The club’s director Andy Allan has also stood down from his role following Goodwillie’s return to Broadwood.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has criticized the transfer. Additionally, speaking to Sky SportsNews on Wednesday, Scottish MP John Mason said he was considering his position as one of the club’s 400-plus fan owners after Goodwillie’s return to the club was confirmed.
Mason, who boycotted matches following Goodwillie’s initial move to Clyde in 2017, said: “I was incredibly disappointed, to say the very least, and frankly yesterday I was quite angry about the whole thing.
“I wasn’t entirely surprised as the fans were singing for his return, but to do the same thing twice is somehow worse. I didn’t agree with it first time round, but to make the same mistake again is really inexcusable I think .
“I would reconsider whether I continue as one of the owners. I will not be going back to a game this season, but I am considering what else I might do.”
Goodwillie banned from Broadwood Stadium by North Lanarkshire Council
North Lanarkshire Council – who rent Clyde their Broadwood Stadium – are understood to be considering their partnership and have barred Goodwillie from entering the stadium “for any purpose” under the terms of their agreement.
If Goodwillie is admitted entry to Broadwood Stadium, the council will consider their contract with the club to be breached and will move to terminate it entirely.
Furthermore, North Lanarkshire Council have informed the club that they do not intend to renew their agreement to allow Clyde use of the stadium after its expiry in 2023.
North Lanarkshire Council statement in full:
“The council can confirm that it has written to Clyde FC this afternoon. We have exercised our rights under the terms of our contract with Clyde FC for their use of Broadwood Stadium, in particular the clause which entitles the council to refuse entry to the stadium to any individual on the grounds of undesirable behaviour.
“We have informed the club that David Goodwillie must not be permitted access to the stadium, for any purpose, with immediate effect.
“Should Mr Goodwillie enter the stadium, we will consider the contract to have been breached and we will take immediate steps to terminate it.
“In addition, we have informed Clyde FC that the council intends not to renew the lease with the club when the contract for the use of Broadwood Stadium expires in May 2023.
“The council utterly condemns all and any violence towards, or abuse of, women. We offer a range of services to support women who experience abuse, through Rape Crisis Lanarkshire and Aura, and we would urge anyone in this position to make contact.
“The council believes in rehabilitation, and has services which provide this. However, Mr Goodwillie has not expressed any contrition in relation to the rape which the court found he had committed in the civil action against him. In re-signing Mr Goodwillie, Clyde FC has not acknowledged that background or community concerns, instead choosing to focus on enabling Mr Goodwillie to play football.
“We regret that this action is necessary. However, the council has a responsibility to the wider community to act, and to send a clear signal that abuse must not be tolerated.
“We also note that some people have questioned why the council is only taking action now given that Mr Goodwillie has played for Clyde for a number of years. For clarity, the stadium was previously under the control of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd which, while previously paid by the council for management of a range of services and facilities, is a separate legal entity. The council was unable to direct the company in relation to this matter. The stadium, and all the services of the company, have reverted to direct council control.
“The council will have no further comment to make.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.