John McGlynn apologises for signing on David Goodwillie, admitting Raith Rovers thought only about football; the striker will never play for Raith Rovers; talks are continuing about his two-and-a-half year deal
Thursday 10 February 2022 19:01, UK
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn has admitted the club made an "enormous mistake" in thinking only about football when signing David Goodwillie.
There was widespread outrage when the Scottish Championship side signed the striker, who was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case and ordered to pay damages in 2017.
No criminal proceedings were instructed against the former Scotland international 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.
The club has remained silent since issuing a statement last week which admitted they were wrong, apologised to fans and confirmed Goodwillie would not play for them.
Now McGlynn has spoken for the first time, issuing his own apology and confirming discussions over the player's two-and-a-half year contract are ongoing at board level.
"We have to apologise for bringing our football club and our supporters into the situation we are in," he said.
"We underestimated the backlash and we're sorry - it was an enormous mistake.
"If we could turn the clock back, we'd do it in a minute. There are no winners here. Everyone has lost.
"We hope to rectify the situation and build bridges."
Raith Rovers sit fourth in the Scottish Championship, with McGlynn admitting he was wrong to think purely about their push for promotion to the top flight.
"I'm tasked with the aim of getting us to the league above so, from a football point of view, to be able to get the top goalscorer in Scotland then we felt that was something we should pursue.
"There is no doubt David scores goals, we just underestimated the depth of the feeling that would come from that signing.
"From a footballing point of view our aim maybe took over the other side. There is nothing wrong with ambition, but we've obviously hurt a lot of people and we apologise to each and every one of them."
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said of the signing: "I would hope Raith Rovers would reflect very carefully on the groundswell of opinion that has been expressed over the past 24 hours from all walks of life, but most particularly from their own fanbase, and perhaps think again about this decision."
Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, a high-profile supporter of the club, announced she would no longer support the side and was "tearing up her season ticket" after the transfer was confirmed.
The author was the Raith Rovers shirt sponsor in 2014, and in 2010 the North Stand at Starks Park was renamed the McDermid Stand in honour of her father, who was a scout for the Kirkcaldy club.
Raith Women's captain Tyler Rattray also announced she would be leaving the side due to the signing of the striker.