John McGlynn statement in full: What Raith Rovers boss had to say on signing David Goodwillie, the fall-out, and his own future

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn has apologised for the David Goodwillie signing that sparked widespread condemnation and sent the Kirkcaldy club into meltdown.

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn called the decision to sign David Goodwillie an 'enormous mistake'.  (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn called the decision to sign David Goodwillie an 'enormous mistake'. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The reaction to the striker's arrival sparked international headlines as fans, volunteers, directors and sponsors all turned their back on the club in disgust over the decision to sign a player who was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case in 2017.

Crime author Val McDermid led the outcry, ending her lifelong association with her hometown club, and pledging her support to the Rovers women’s team, who decided to form a new breakaway side under a seperate identity.

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The Stark’s Park side initially doubled down on the decision to sign Goodwillie from Clyde before performing a U-turn with a statement last Thursday admitting they were wrong, apologising to fans, and insisting Goodwillie would not play for them.

David Goodwillie watched Raith Rovers draw with Queen of the South at Stark's Park before the club confirmed his contract would be cancelled.

McGlynn did not speak after the goalless draw with Hamilton on Saturday, but the contrite Raith manager faced the media for the first time this afternoon ahead of the club’s Scottish Cup trip to Celtic Park on Sunday.

Here is what he had to say.

John McGlynn statement in full:

"It's been extremely difficult for everyone involved. We apologise enormously for the distress that we've brought to our fans, our sponsors and anyone else who was hurt in any way at all.

"It was never our intention to do that.

"I've been at the football club for the best part of nine years over two separate occasions and there's no way I would have wanted to bring the last 10 days to the football club.

"We were on the front page for the wrong reasons.

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"We have to apologise for bringing our football club and our supporters into the situation that we find ourselves in.

Why sign Goodwillie in the first place?

"From a football point of view, I'm tasked with trying to get us to the league above if that's at all possible.

"We have a situation where we don't have anyone in the striking department scoring many goals.

"So to be able to get the top goalscorer in Scotland was something we felt we should pursue.

"There is no doubt David scores goals.

"But we just completely underestimated the depth of feeling that has come from that signing.

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"We did not anticipate that at all and it has been with much regret from everyone involved that we find ourselves in this situation.

"If we could turn the clock back, we would do it in a minute.

"It's not been great for anyone. Everyone has lost here.

"There are no winners in this.

"Maybe our aim took over from the other side, the non-footballing side.

"We've obviously hurt a lot of people and we apologise to each and every one of them.

"We hope in time that we can rectify the situation, build some bridges and get the people back here.

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Did you anticipate the fall-out?

"David's played for the last five years at Clyde. We've been in the same league as them and have played against him.

"Nothing was being said so we didn't expect this to this extent.

"I have to try and seek players who will do a job for us.

"I bring them to the table then we discuss if it's a good situation or not.

"It's a collective decision.

"I'm the manager of the football club and I'm trying my best to show regret, to show remorse and to make the best of the situation.

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Have you considered your own position?

"I love the football club and I love working here.

"I've had to consider an awful lot over the last 10 days, but at the same time I think there's an awful lot of good work being done here at Raith Rovers and I want to have the opportunity to right the wrongs.

"I want to build bridges, to get the people back, to get the team winning and put a good squad of players together.

"One that the fans can be proud of.

"There's been an outcry at a big level, but we still have an awful lot of support within Kirkcaldy. They recognise the work that has been done and the work that we can hopefully continue to do.

"All we can do is say that we made a mistake.

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"This is a great club and I've had lots of emails from fans who have followed the club for many years saying how they were disappointed, and I can understand that.

"All I can say is for the length of time I've been here, I think I deserve a chance.”

"I think I've been a good employee, we've done well on the football side of things and I think I can help the football club to go forward.

How did the conversation with Goodwillie go?

"He accepted it, disappointingly. He wanted to play for Raith Rovers.

"He played here on loan from Dundee United when he was a young boy and enjoyed his time and if it had have been different, I'm sure he would have enjoyed his time again.

How will you build bridges?

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"Although crowds are down, they're not down enormously.

"I would hope that supporters will see the regret we're showing.

"We made an error and some are graver than others.

"It's been an enormous one and we will try to get the trust back of our fans and from our sponsors.

"It's been a lose-situation and we want to rectify it and build bridges with everyone.

"The board share the same remorse and the same regret. We just have to deal with the fall out and the damage that has been caused.

"We hold our hands up to it. We are sincere about it.

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"We're not bad people. I'm not a bad person.

"I just want a chance to make it right.”

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