Football, the national sport of England. 2011/12 season. My very own Reading FC Champions of England’s second flight, displaying grit and determination coupled with a true team spirit unparalleled in the division. It is not surprising that only Ian Harte is represented in the PFA Championship team of the year, because our squad is together much greater than the sum of it’s parts.
The PFA awards have always been funny things. From the players for the players. Ryan Giggs won the individual honour a few years back despite playing a ridiculously small number of games during that season. But he did have an impact, and the award was given to him long before the super injunction surrounding his private life was blown apart. Ryan was revealed not to be the messiah, but a naughty boy a few years later, but at least his brothers wife actually agreed to sleep with him.
Ched Evans, a striker acquired for the princely sum of £3 million in 2009. He went on be part of the biggest underachieving Sheffield Utd side in many years being relegated to League 1 (the third tier) this season Sheffield Utd have performed well currently occupying the second automatic promotion spot. Ched appeared to have finally found his level, as Sheffield Utd’s top scorer. Indeed Ched has made the PFA League One team of the year. An accolade which the other ten members of the side must be delighted to share with a convicted rapist.
Yes. The PFA have seen it fit to include a man last week convicted and jailed for 5 years, in their team of the year. Now i know not all footballers are angels. But the timing of this stinks. Now I know the votes are cast quite some time before the season ends, so all the other players in league one did not vote knowing that Evans was a scumbag, but purely on his footballing performance. However by the time the results were published Ched was behind bars and being taught how it feels to be violated by a large Rastafarian named George (maybe).
Gordon Taylor has defended the league one team saying “it’s based on football ability” well yes this is true. I don’t think it was ever intended to be based upon anything else. That’s not the point. To release this so shortly after his conviction brings the game into disrepute. On the front pages, rapist. Back pages, hero. This is course is disregarding the emotions the girl and her family must now forever face.
The PFA should use common sense and not let one scumbag devalue their award. Because on the whole footballers are intelligent hard working professionals, the majority represent the game and their club without incident. Evans gave up his right to share in those accolades and now must wait for the court of appeal to decide his fate.