Raith Rovers break David Goodwillie silence as club double down amid backlash over signing

Raith Rovers have issued a statement explaining their decision to sign David Goodwillie that resulted in a number of departures from the club.

The signing of Goodwillie from Clyde on Monday has sparked outrage among fans and led to directors Bill Clark and Andy Mill quiting their posts due to the striker’s past involvement in a civil court case that led to him being labelled a rapist.

Supporter liaison officer Margie Robertson and Marie Penman, who was recently appointed as the employability project delivery officer with Raith’s charitable community foundation, have also left their roles in protest, as well as a number of club volunteers.

Main sponsor Val McDermid, the famous crime novellist, has also withdrawn her support and sponsorship of the club branding the signing a “disgusting and despicable move”.

Raith Rovers have issued a statement explaining their decision to sign David Goodwillie. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

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However, Raith Rovers have doubled down on their position, insisting that the club has signed a “proven goalscorer” and that they “fully support and encourage rehabilitation”.

A club statement read: “As announced on our website last night, Raith Rovers FC can confirm that we have signed David Goodwillie from Clyde FC.

“David is a proven goal scorer, and this will be his second stint with the club, having previously played for us on loan from Dundee United during season 2007-08.

“As with all new signings, the club has carefully considered our position as a Community Club and we completely respect the differing views among fans and stakeholders, many of whom we have spoken to directly in the past 24 hours and are continuing to engage with.

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“As David has previously played for Raith Rovers earlier in his career, we consider him to be part of the Raith Rovers Football Club. The management team is familiar with David’s career and background and – in particular – his footballing ability. That is our foremost consideration, and we believe that he will strengthen the Raith Rovers playing squad.

“Please be assured that as a community football club we fully acknowledge this signing has divided opinion amongst our loyal fans and commercial stakeholders; we aim to rebuild that trust.

“While acknowledging the gravity of what happened ten years ago, as a club we fully support and encourage rehabilitation, and many factors influenced our signing. But first and foremost, this was a football related decision.”

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