David Goodwillie: FC Sorrento deal explained as contract rescinded - what did he say on Twitter?

FC Sorrento are the third club in 18 months who have backtracked on their efforts to sign Goodwillie
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FC Sorrento have become the latest club to backtrack on signing former Scotland striker David Goodwillie in the wake of a public backlash.

The Australian second-tier side announced on Wednesday that they had recruited the 34-year-old, who was ruled by a judge at a civil court case in 2017 to have raped a woman in 2011.

“SFC are pleased to announce we have added three players to our mid season first team. Clay Gibbs, David Goodwillie & Callum Dobbs have all joined!” read the initial statement from the Perth-based club.

Sorrento head coach Steven McGarry, who played in Scotland when Goodwillie was beginning his career more than a decade ago, added: “With David, we get a player with real quality and experience. He’s played in the top leagues in England and Scotland while also representing Scotland at international level so he’s a massive addition to the club.”

Goodwillie and fellow footballer David Robertson were deemed by a judge at a civil court in January 2017 to have raped a 30-year-old woman at a property in Armadale, West Lothian, after a night out in nearby Bathgate in January 2011. Criminal charges against Goodwillie were dropped in 2011 due to lack of evidence.

When was the contract rescinded?

Just hours after the announcement was made, Sorrento released another statement explaining that they had cancelled Goodwillie’s contract after the news received significant backlash on social media. 

The statement said: “Sorrento Football Club has rescinded its contract with David Goodwillie. David was scheduled to arrive in Perth within the next week to commence playing with the Club for the remainder of the 2023 NPLM season.

“The arrangement was non-commercial in nature. The Club has informed David of its decision and apologises to anyone in our football and broader community that may have been caused offence by his signing.”

File photo dated 9-02-2020 of former Scotland striker David Goodwillie (Photo: PA/Jeff Holmes)File photo dated 9-02-2020 of former Scotland striker David Goodwillie (Photo: PA/Jeff Holmes)
File photo dated 9-02-2020 of former Scotland striker David Goodwillie (Photo: PA/Jeff Holmes)

Sorrento are the third club in 18 months to have been forced into a climbdown over their efforts to sign Goodwillie.

Scottish side Raith Rovers sparked an outcry when they signed Goodwillie from Clyde in February last year and he was released from his contract without playing a match.

Then in February of this year, Northern Premier League side Radcliffe signed the former Dundee United and Blackburn forward and he scored a hat-trick on his debut against Belper Town.

However, having made no prior announcement of his signing, the angry response from the public prompted a change of heart from Radcliffe, who admitted to making “a significant misstep” in signing him and that “our due diligence should have been of a much higher standard”.

What has David Goodwillie said?

Goodwillie has vowed to “finally speak my truth” after his latest attempt to return to football was kiboshed following another public backlash.

After Serrento confirmed that the contract had been cancelled,  Goodwillie subsequently opened a Twitter account and shared a post on Wednesday (28 June) afternoon in which he declared that he owes it to his wife and children to speak out in the face of “misinformation” about his situation.

The post said: “Due to recent events, I feel it’s only right to myself, and finally speak my truth.

“For the past year I have actively tried to speak with the tabloids/news/interviewers anyone that would listen and had the same outcome, they weren’t willing to give me a platform to tell my side, I was told they would come across hypocritical.

“I’m going to take the next few days and write everything down and share it with whoever wants to hear what I have to say.

“I owe it to my wife and children, a lot has been said that is misinformation, I have been silenced for long enough, there will nothing off the table, and after that if anyone has any questions on what I have to say, I will try and answer them all in time.”

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