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Sheffield United Sponsors Will Quit Club If Ched Evans Is Offered A New Contract

Sponsors are ready to pull their commercial deals with Sheffield United if the convicted rapist appears in a Blades shirt again.

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Sheffield United's two main sponsors have pledged to end their association with the club if it offers a new contract to convicted rapist Ched Evans.

AP / PA / Nick Potts

Evans, a former Blades player, spent two years in jail after being convicted of rape. He was released last month and this week began training with Sheffield United in order to regain fitness.

Sheffield United insists it has yet to make a decision on whether to offer Evans a new contract but has faced protests, condemnation from MPs, and the resignations of several high-profile supporters from voluntary positions.

Now both of the club's shirt sponsors have said they will either "re-evaluate" or "end" their deals with the club if the convicted rapist is offered a new contract.

Local car dealership John Holland Sales, which sponsors the team's shirts, said it condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the "strongest possible terms", and said:

Whilst ever the 'ex player' is not employed by Sheffield United Football Club, John Holland Sales Ltd remains committed to its commercial partnership. Should this situation change John Holland Sales will re-evaluate its position as Shirt sponsor.

Meanwhile, secondary sponsor DBL Logistics confirmed that it will end its association with Sheffield United if Evans is offered a new deal. It said:

We have been notified by the Club that its former player, Ched Evans, has been allowed to train with Sheffield United at the request of The Professional Footballers' Association, following his release from prison on completion of the custodial part of his sentence for rape.

The club has clarified that the player has not been re-employed. Ched Evans is training with a view to return to a level of fitness which might allow him to seek employment within football.

DBL Logistics is a business that has been built with family values at its core. It strongly condemns rape and violence of any kind against women.

DBL Logistics would end its back-of-shirt sponsorship with Sheffield United if the Club employed a convicted rapist. However, whilst the current situation remains and Ched Evans is not contracted to Sheffield United, DBL Logistics will continue its business to business relationship with the Club.