Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike has told of his frustration after he was unable to beat yesterday’s transfer deadline to bolster his depleted squad – despite his players being paid in full.
Borough were involved in a race against time to boost their National League South play-off hopes, with the club needing to satisfy to the league monies owed to their players had been cleared before the 5pm cut-off point.
Multiple new-player deals were already on the table at the league’s Birmingham headquarters.
But at the time of writing, Pike was questioning why his efforts to add to his squad had not been successful ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Whitehawk (3pm).
With seven games to play, Gosport have just 13 senior players contracted to the club, with only 11 fit for action.
And Pike believes the National League have a lot to answer for their current predicament.
He said: ‘I got the forms in by 5pm – all of our players were paid up to date.
‘I don’t know what the problems could have been.
‘It’s myself, my staff and my players who have borne the brunt of the financial difficulties at Gosport.
‘We are the ones who suffer.
‘And the league are now making us suffer further by not allowing us to sign players.
‘I have 13 contracted players of which two are injured.
‘So I have to play those 11 in all games now.
‘I am not in a position where I can rest players because we have to fulfil fixtures.
‘This is the problem I will have until the end of the season.
‘Once it is sorted out I will be reporting the National League to the FA because there needs to be a bigger picture.
‘These players have to be looked after and protected and my squad is getting smaller and smaller.’
While Pike appreciated the last-ditch nature of his and the club’s attempts to beat yesterday’s deadline, he maintains the belief the club did everything by the book in order to bring much-needed additions to the squad.
He added: ‘Yesterday always came into focus because it was the last day we could sign players in the National League South.
‘It was always the focal point and even though it was last minute, the league told us once we had paid up all of our football creditors we could sign players.
‘We weren’t allowed to sign players under league rules because we owed money to football creditors.
‘The reason they knew that was because the three lads who left, Andy Robinson, George Barker and Lee Wort had to serve a resignation, which told the league we owed money.
‘Yesterday we were running round with sponsors and other helpful people who helped put the money in.
‘We are all up to date with all of our players – they have all been paid.
‘We had four registration forms in at the league and other prospects I could bring in and alert them that it was go-ahead time.
‘My hands were tied by the league.’
The National League declined to comment.