London - English club Oldham appears to have abandoned plans to give a convicted rapist Ched Evans a route back into soccer.
Oldham Council leader Jim McMahon announced on Thursday: "I understand Oldham Athletic's move to sign Ched Evans is off."
McMahon added that "the reputation of our club and town" has been affected by the public debate over Evans' future in the game.
Oldham, which plays in England's third division, has faced criticism from politicians and sponsors over its interest in signing Evans.
The 26-year-old former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker was released from jail in October after serving time for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in 2011.
Evans saw his hopes of rejoining Sheffield United collapse following similar waves of criticism.