Lancaster City will be asking the Northern Premier League for its observations after it was revealed online that they had signed a player before a deal had been struck.
The Dolly Blues had been granted permission to speak to Bamber Bridge’s Paul Dawson after placing seven days’ notice on the player.
After speaking with City boss Mark Fell, the midfielder agreed a transfer to his hometown club and then told Brig boss Mick Taylor and director of football Neil Crowe of his intentions.
Brig then announced via their website that Dawson was leaving and was joining Lancaster City. The story also appeared on the league’s website.
Fell admits that he was disappointed to see Dawson’s imminent arrival announced before he had actually signed the player.
“They should probably have known better than announcing that,” said Fell.
“You have got to make sure that all the relevant paperwork is done and dusted and it wasn’t.
“Bamber Bridge made the assumption that he was coming to us because we made the approach.
“We did everything right. Our approach was accepted and we were right at the end of the seven-day time period when we we spoke to the player. We agreed a deal for him to sign for us but the paperwork had not been done.
“That has been done now on Tuesday morning and Paul Dawson is a Lancaster City player.
“We will be asking the league for their observations because it appeared on their website before he was registered and they would have known he wasn’t registered, so it was a bit of a strange one.”
Despite Dawson’s arrival being announced prematurely, Fell admits he is absolutely delighted to secure the former Morecambe scholar who hails from the city.
Arriving at Bamber Bridge in the summer from Kendal Town as a right-back, Dawson has been playing – and impressing – in midfield for Taylor’s men.
Fell envisages that he will continue to play in midfield rather than defence for the Dolly Blues.
“He’s a good player,” he added. “He will give us something extra in a team that is currently playing really well.
“He’s a midfielder. He played there when he was at Morecambe.
“I know he played at right back for Kendal and started there for Bamber Bridge.
“It’s good to know that he can play at right back.
“But he will give us more creativity and quality in midfield but is also not afraid to do the horrible, dirty work.”
When Dawson pulls on the Dolly Blues’ shirt, he will be following a path trodden by Brad Carsley, who joined City a couple of weeks ago from Brig.
The striker has made an immediate impact, scoring in his first two appearances.
His opportunist strike in the 83rd minute at Warrington Town on Saturday looked to have secured all three points only for high-flying Wire to equalise in the sixth-minute of stoppage time.
“I said when we signed Brad, every manager from National League North and below, he would have been on their radar,” said Fell.
“He scores goals. He’s come from the West Lancashire League where he scored a ridiculous amount of goals.
“He then went to Bamber Bridge and scored 20 goals in his first season.
“He’s scored on Saturday and it was an instinctive turn and finish from 12 yards.”
Currently third from bottom in the NPL Premier Division, City are only four points behind this weekend’s visitors to Giant Axe Witton Albion, who are 14th.
“It’s a bit of a six-pointer this weekend. We lost 1-0 to Witton at their place earlier in the season and we weren’t great. But if we can perform like we can do, I am confident we can take all the points,” he said.