John McGlynn admits Raith signed David Goodwillie by surprise
JOHN McGLYNN admits Raith Rovers vastly underestimated the response that would come with signing David Goodwillie as the Championship club weighed the decision.
The attacker, branded a rapist by a judge in a civil trial in 2017, had spent the previous five years playing for Clyde before moving to Stark’s Park on deadline day.
Major sponsors withdrew their support, fans tore up their season tickets, club volunteers quit their roles and the entire women’s team parted ways with Raith in response to the controversial signing.
Public pressure eventually forced Raith to back down where the club insisted Goodwillie would never represent the team, and McGlynn – who has ‘hugely apologized’ to anyone hurt by the decision – is watching the whole sad saga with deep regret.
With a Scottish Cup draw at Celtic Park to be hoped for on Sunday, this should have been an exciting week as Rovers prepare for one of the biggest games of their season. Instead, it was one of the toughest weeks of McGlynn’s career.
“It was extremely difficult,” he said. “I have been at the football club for nine years twice and there is no way I would have wanted to bring the last 10 days to the football club.
“From a footballing point of view, I’m in charge of trying to get us into the league above if possible. We had a situation where we had no one in the strike department scoring many goals .
“So from a footballing point of view to be able to get Scotland’s top goalscorer – we felt that was something we needed to pursue. There’s no doubt that David is scoring goals from that point of view.
“Now we have completely underestimated the feeling and the depth of feeling that comes with this signing. We did not anticipate this at all and it is with great regret for everyone involved that we find ourselves in this situation.
“If we could go back, from everyone’s point of view, we would do it in a minute because it hasn’t been great. Everyone has lost here, there are no winners here. But from a footballing point of view, our goal may have taken precedence over the other side, which is the non-footballing team.
“There’s nothing wrong with ambition but obviously we hurt a lot of people and we apologize to every single one of them.
“David has played for the last five years at Clyde. We’ve been in the same league as Clyde, we’ve played against David, he’s played in the park against us and has never encountered any negativity towards him. It didn’t bother us. not completely surprised obviously, but to the extent that we weren’t ready for it.
“He was playing every week, scoring goals, he was club captain. He did coaching sessions with people with disabilities, he did coaching sessions with youth teams. I did not expect this.”
The scale of the backlash caught McGlynn off guard, but the Rovers manager adds he understands the criticism leveled at the club as he expressed hope betrayed fans could give him a second chance, despite his lack of judgement.
“Look, as a husband and father, I understand, I understand, I understand that we’re all going through this right now,” he explained. “So yeah, I get it. All we can do is say we made a mistake.
“Personally, I would love the opportunity to right the wrongs and produce a good football team here.
“It’s a great club and I’ve had many emails from fans who have followed the club for many, many years. They weren’t mean, they just expressed how disappointed they were and I can tell. to understand.
“All I can say is that with the length of my stay here, I think I have a chance, I think I’ve been a good employer and I think I’ve done very well. on the football side, and I think I can still help the football club go forward.
“We made a mistake. Some mistakes are bigger than others and this was a huge mistake. We will try to regain the trust of our fans and sponsors. We are not bad people. I am not a bad person. I just want the chance to do it right.