GLASGOW United FC have said they will support footballer and rapist David Goodwillie, adding that "this witch hunt has gone on for far too long".

The ex-Scotland internationalist was spotted playing for the Shettleston-based club in a friendly match earlier this month despite a civil court ruling that he raped a woman in 2011. 

It led to Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken threatening to bar the club from its training facility.

Glasgow United haven’t yet signed Goodwillie, but defended playing him. They told BBC Scotland: "David Goodwillie has never been charged for this offence.

"He has no criminal record and has never appeared on any offenders' register.

"How can he show contrite or remorse for something he staunchly claims he did not do."

In 2017, Goodwillie was found by a civil court to have raped a woman and was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages.

Goodwillie has seen several football club contracts collapse due to public outrage over the case, most recently by Australian team FC Sorrento.

READ MORE: David Goodwillie gives first interview since rape ruling

The city council released a statement from leader Aitken on Sunday which said: "David Goodwillie has been found, in court, to be a rapist. However, in more than 12 years, he has never once shown any kind of contrition or remorse.

"Any club that signs him is making a very clear statement about its attitude to the safety of women and girls - both in sport and in its community.

"It would be an outrageous decision, wholly at odds with how community facilities like Greenfield should be run.

"I've asked officers to look at the council's agreement with Glasgow United and made it clear that I'm ready for the city to walk away."

A Glasgow United spokesperson added: "We play home matches at our own ground nearby like we have for the last 120 years.

"We do a lot of work in our community helping those in need and this is only an extension of that work.

"We could easily walk away from this like every other club before us but we won't.

"We are supporting David with his mental health and will continue to do so.

"This witch hunt has gone on for far too long and the use of any person's life as a political football is unacceptable."