David Goodwillie controversy rumbles after Clyde ends loan deal with Raith Rovers


David Goodwillie’s return to Clyde is already complete, just days after the club announced they had agreed a loan deal with the former Scotland international.

And the controversy surrounding the attacker – who was found guilty by a judge in a civil case in 2017 of raping a woman – shows no signs of abating.

Two Scottish football clubs – Clyde and Raith Rovers – have faced a backlash in recent months following their moves to bring Goodwillie on board.

But where is it now? STV News looks at the twists and turns associated with the furor surrounding Goodwillie.

How did it all start?

The origins of the anger directed at Goodwillie can be traced back to an incident at a flat in Armadale, West Lothian, in January 2011.

Goodwillie was arrested and charged with raping a woman, while his former Dundee United team-mate David Robertson was also questioned by police.

Criminal charges against Goodwillie were dropped later that year because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute in criminal court. Robertson was never charged.

Six years later, in a civil case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Goodwillie and Robertson were tried for raping the woman and ordered to pay her £100,000 damages.

Robertson has since retired from professional football, but Goodwillie has resumed his professional football career, spending five years with Clyde and also serving as club captain.

If Goodwillie kept playing for years, why all the rage now?

In the years following the civil court ruling, Goodwillie continued to ply his trade at Clyde more or less under the radar, scoring over 100 goals for the club.

But Raith Rovers’ interest in the striker has been a game-changer.

Speculation mounted last Christmas that the Kirkcaldy club were keen on acquiring his services, prompting high-profile author Val McDermid, whose name adorns Raith’s tapes, to speak about the potential move.

She tweeted: “I vigorously argued against this when I was on the board.

“We call ourselves a community club. It is by no means a model. I don’t want him walking around with my name on his chest.

“Two criminal convictions and a civil statement of rape. It’s pretty guilty in my book.

Despite the warning, Raith announced on transfer deadline day in January that they had signed Goodwillie to a two-and-a-half-year deal.

What happened next ?

The fallout was instant and fierce, with criticism pouring in from several different walks of life in Scottish society.

Several prominent supporters, managers and sponsors, including McDermid, withdrew their support for the Championship Club and a number of staff and volunteers quit.

McDermid said: “The thought of rapist David Goodwillie running around the pitch at Stark’s Park in a Raith Rovers shirt with my name on it makes me physically sick.”

The captain of the club’s women’s team, Tyler Rattray, has also announced that she is stepping down.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her support for Rattray and McDermid, saying they made “principled” decisions.

The club’s supporter liaison officer, Margie Robertson, also resigned from her post and said her values ​​and those of the club were on a “divergent path”. Former chairman Bill Clark and Andrew Mill have both left the club’s board.

Rape Crisis Scotland, a group that campaigns to end sexual violence, said Raith’s decision was a “clear message of contempt for rape survivors”.

How did Raith Rovers respond to criticism?

The club’s initial response was to defend the signing.

Raith released a statement saying: “The management team are aware of David’s career and background and – in particular – his ability as a footballer. This is our primary consideration, and we believe he will strengthen the playing team. Raith Rovers.

But as the backlash intensified and showed no signs of abating, Raith did a U-turn and said Goodwillie would never play for them.

Manager John McGlynn appealed last week for the chance to make amends over the ‘huge’ mistake and the club’s four trustees – chairman John Sim, David Sinton, Tom Morgan and Steven MacDonald – as well as chief executive Karen Macartney, released a new statement in a bid. to appease disappointed fans.

After repeating their apologies, they wrote: “We fully recognize that we still have a long way to go to reach a position where the thousands of people who are part of the Raith Rovers family feel they have confidence in us. . who make day-to-day decisions within the club.

“Some of the first steps in this journey are already underway.”

What triggered the latest escalation?

Clyde announced on Tuesday that Goodwillie would spend the rest of the league campaign at Broadwood following a loan deal from Raith Rovers – a move that sparked further backlash.

The Clyde Ladies players quit in disgust and the Prime Minister spoke out against the move.

The women’s team said its managing director and secretary had resigned and the players were “all in agreement that we no longer want to play for Clyde FC”.

In addition, North Lanarkshire Council, owners of Broadwood Stadium, banned him from entering the pitch and told management that “Goodwillie must not be allowed into the stadium for any purpose with effect immediate”.

The local authority also said it had informed Clyde that it had no intention of not renewing his lease with the club in May 2023.

North Lanarkshire Council’s decision will now mean that it is impossible for Goodwillie to attend home games.

So Clyde was next to turn around with Goodwillie?

Yes, the League One side released a statement on Thursday night announcing that they were ‘terminating the loan deal’ of the player.

Goodwillie remains on the books with Raith Rovers, under contract until 2024, but his chances of stepping onto the pitch anytime soon appear to be non-existent.

Meanwhile, the survivor of the 2011 incident is working with attorneys to file a private lawsuit against Goodwillie and Robertson.

The rare actions involve an individual or organization seeking to prosecute the accused, rather than the Crown office taking action.


Comments are closed.