Regretful Raith Rovers have issued a fresh apology over the signing of David Goodwillie, asking fans for their patience as they bid to restore their “family club” reputation.
And they admit the saga represents an “awful period in the club’s history.”
The deadline day signing of Goodwillie from Clyde was met with a huge backlash as sponsor Val McDermid, whose name adorns a stand at Starks’ Park, was among numerous prominent club figures to withdraw her support.
Criticism even reached First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who asked football clubs to consider their “responsibility” after Goodwillie, who was deemed a rapist by a civil court judge in 2017, was handed a two-and-a-half year deal.
Championship Raith initially doubled down citing “football reasons” behind the decision, although soon backed down with a groveling apology.
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That was followed by manager John McGlynn speaking out and expressing his regret, admitting he and the club misjudged the situation.
And Raith have now issued a new apology as they look to rebuild their reputation after the damaging saga.
A club statement reads: “The board of directors and CEO, having reflected further on what we have already acknowledged was a wrong decision around a deadline day transfer, would like to provide our supporters, volunteers and the wider community connected to the club with an update.
“In doing so, we ask that everyone takes cognizance of the fact that a number of legal and financial issues are still being discussed with concerned parties, and as such we are restricted to the extent of information we can share at this time.
“The past two weeks have been an awful period in the club’s long and proud history, and once again we want to say sorry for the damage that has been caused and to those affected in any way by the issues raised.
“We fully acknowledge that there is still a long journey ahead of us to reach a position where the many thousands of people who are part of the Raith Rovers family feel they have trust and confidence in those of us who take the day-to-day decisions at the club.
“Some of the first steps on this journey are already underway. We have taken reached out to the supporters’ groups, and meetings have already place, with more planned over the coming weeks to begin discussions that will lead to agreement on a plan to repair the reputational and financial damage.
“We know this will not be easy and we are not underestimating the size of the task ahead of us. It is, however, one we are wholly committed to in the belief that the club can come out of this stronger in the long term. “
The statement also thanked fans for their support at Parkhead on Sunday as they exited the Scottish Cup in Glasgow’s east end.
It went on: “Finally, as a board and the CEO, we would like to say how proud we were of the team and management for their efforts in the recent cup tie at Celtic Park.
“The score did not in any way reflect the performance they delivered on the pitch, while the performance and support from the fans off the pitch was also outstanding. It was a reminder of just how precious the link is between the club, the players and those who cheer us on.”