Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Portadown say embargo will be temporary measure

Billy Brennan

Portadown Football Club has moved to assure fans that a transfer embargo placed on the club by the Irish FA will be lifted long before the domestic season kicks-off on Saturday August 10.

Eyebrows were raised on Monday when the Ports announced the signing of former Lisburn Distillery goalkeeper Billy Brennan – on an amateur contract.

It has since emerged that the IFA have placed sanctions on the Shamrock Park club after they failed to attend a meeting last Friday and no professional players will be registered until the embargo is lifted.

The club website last night confirmed that they are now under an embargo and described the matter as a 'temporary timing issue' while also expressing their confidence that it will be sorted out before they welcome Linfield in the opening game of the Danske Bank Premiership season.

"Work commitments left a club official unable to attend Friday's scheduled meeting with the Irish FA to sign off on the forthcoming season's Salary Cost Protocol terms," said a club spokesman via the Portadown FC official website.

"The situation with the registration of professional players is a temporary timing issue which will be cleared once we hold the meeting."

When that meeting will take place isn't yet known, but there is expected to be a delay during the traditional holiday period.

With more than a month to go before the beginning of the season the club doesn't expect there to be a major problem in arranging it before the big kick-off.

"Work commitments and holiday issues mean the meeting has had to be rearranged for a date over the next few weeks," continued the statement on the club website.

"We are currently working with the IFA on a new date and then it will be a case of clearing the various points.

"Everything must be processed before the start of the season, but we do not anticipate any long-term problems."

While Brennan's signing has been processed, there is a degree of uncertainty surrounding the deals that have brought Dungannon Swifts defender Emmet Friars and former Bohemians winger Peter McMahon to Portadown this summer.

Manager Ronnie McFall is known to be on the lookout for more players to strengthen his squad, but can't currently sign anyone until the meeting with the IFA happens.