BLACKBURN ROVERS are appealing the EFL’s decision to reject applications for two deadline day transfers that has left Lewis O’Brien and Ethan Brierley in limbo.
The governing body ruled that the Championship club failed to submit the relevant paperwork to secure deals for the Nottingham Forest midfielder and Rochdale ace before last night’s 11pm cut-off.
Rovers had the opportunity to present their case at a hearing earlier today and stated that they had filed the documentation and info requested by the league in their bid to get the deal rubber-stamped.
However, the EFL have rejected the Ewood Park outfit’s mitigating factors as to why it was submitted late.
Rovers thought they had pulled off a deadline day coup with the capture of 24-year-old O’Brien.
The 24-year-old was initially joining on loan with the option for a permanent deal should they secure promotion.
The 19-year-old Brierley was also wanted by a host of other Championship clubs after bursting into the Rochdale first-team, but Rovers looked to have won the race for his signature.
However, both face an anxious wait to discover their futures despite passing their respective medicals after the moves did not get the necessary sign-off from the EFL.
And O’Brien will be particularly worried as he could now be left out of Forest’s 25-man Premier League squad for the second part of the campaign if he has to stay at the City Ground.
That would leave him with the prospect of no football for the remainder of the season.
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However, Rovers have confirmed they have launched an appeal, with a statement reading: “One of the deals was a very ambitious target and it was only confirmed that he was able to join us late Tuesday afternoon.
“Due to the complex nature of the various agreements to be included within the overall registration, legal advisors were brought in to assist in part of the process.
“Despite the club’s best endeavours to complete all the required elements of this loan transfer, due to events we believe to be outside of our control, the deadline for submission was late and despite the club stating the mitigating reasons for the delayed submission, our application has today been rejected by the EFL.
“Our application for the second deal – for the permanent transfer of a promising young player – was also delayed due to unsigned paperwork and technical issues encountered by the club at the point of submission.
“Once again the EFL has not accepted these issues were an impediment to the paperwork being lodged on time and has also rejected this application.
“The club will now appeal the EFL decision to reject both applications and will submit documents ahead of the Tuesday, February 7 deadline.”