David Goodwillie: Raith Rovers loan move back to Clyde sparks condemnation from Nicola Sturgeon

Raith Rovers have loaned striker David Goodwillie back to Clyde in a move that has sparked further condemnation from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Goodwillie, who was found by a judge in a civil case in 2017 to have raped a woman, had joined Raith from the Cumbernauld side at the end of the January transfer window, sparking a major public outcry.

The controversial signing caused a severe backlash among Raith supporters, leading to resignations of two directors as well as several long-serving club volunteers, while the women's team cut ties to form a new breakaway side.

Val McDermid, the famous crime author, also ended her lifelong association with the Kirkcaldy club, which included withdrawing her financial sponsorship and transferring it to the newly-named McDermid Ladies.

Controversial striker David Goodwillie has returned to Clyde on loan from Raith Rovers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

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Raith subsequently apologised, confirming Goodwillie would not be playing for them as they reviewed the forward's contractual position, having signed a two-and-a-half year deal, as well the composition of their board.

The Stark’s Park side, who have not won a league match this year, have now confirmed that the 32-year-old will return to the Clyde on loan until the end of the current season, thanking the League One outfit "for their co-operation" in a brief two-sentence statement.

McDermid immediately responded on Twitter, stating: "Disgusted doesn't even begin to touch it. All that mealy-mouthed stuff from the board about contract-ending negotiations? Do Raith Rovers think we'll all have forgotten about this by the end of the season?"

Having been critical of Raith's initial decision to sign the striker, Scotland's First Minister also weighed in, hitting out at Clyde for taking their former club captain back.

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She tweeted: "For the record, I think this is as wrong as the signing by Raith Rovers. I strongly support rehabilitation but it must start with remorse. Someone who has shown none for the trauma he caused cannot be a sporting role model."

Clyde stated on their website: "Following an initial approach by Raith Rovers, and subsequent agreement between the two clubs, we can confirm that David Goodwillie has returned to Broadwood on loan until the end of the 2021-22 season.

"This enables David to return to first-team activities, including training and playing - and, in doing so, continue his career in football at the current time."

Clyde had faced calls from a section of their own fans and sponsors for an extraordinary meeting amid anger at suggestions the board had initially rejected the chance to take Goodwillie back on loan.

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However, Clyde supporting MSP John Mason tweeted that he is "incredibly disappointed" by the player's return.

"Mistake in 2017 and repeating mistake is inexcusable," he said. "Yes, fans like his goals, but should we not look at wider aspects? Is violence against women being downplayed? Will not be at any more Clyde games this season."

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