Green light for Lawrence loan switch

Oliver Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Fleetwood: Early team news

The Football League are to give the green light for Liam Lawrence's Pompey switch.

Yet the midfielder will be classed as an emergency loan rather than a permanent deal.

Blues fans had feared the Republic of Ireland international's switch would be scrapped after he was not registered in time.

The News understands the Football League didn't receive his papers until 8pm on August 31 – two hours after the 6pm deadline.

There is now no chance of dispensation being granted similar to that Spurs received when they signed Rafael van der Vaart late on the day.

Instead, Pompey are turning their attention to securing Lawrence on an emergency loan following the opening of that window.

They are now awaiting a final decision from the Football League.

However, The News has been told the league chiefs have no objections.

That view is in keeping with their own legislation for emergency loans.

In accordance to league rules, no more than two players above the age of 23 can sign for the same club on a standard loan.

The Blues already have Ibrahima Sonko and Carl Dickinson on season-long loans.

However, emergency loans are not governed by the same restrictions.

That opens the door for Lawrence to join after all, regardless of the presence of his two Stoke team-mates.

The midfielder, who last night was on international duty with the Republic of Ireland against Andorra, can stay for a maximum of 93 days.

That would ensure his Fratton Park stay would last to the beginning of December.

However, the 93 days can either be reached continuously or cumulatively.

In that case, Lawrence could effectively be sent back to Stoke during international weeks.

That would put his Pompey loan on pause until his return, when it resumes again.

The Blues would then be able to stretch out his stay as close to the next transfer window as possible.

Once that window opens on January 1, the club will then seek to turn the emergency loan into a permanent switch.

Once again, that will not be a problem for the Football League and is permitted.

In the meantime, the 28-year-old will be free to play for Steve Cotterill's side.

And he will be in the frame for a debut against Ipswich on Saturday, along with former Britannia Stadium team-mate Dave Kitson.

Meanwhile, QPR are also being made to wait to complete the Tommy Smith transfer.

A similar loan package is being sought after the Football League rejected the move due to administrative problems.