Effiong saga moves a step closer to being resolved

Saints receive compensation offer from Boreham Wood following Football Association ruling

THE drawn-out saga of Inih Effiong’s controversial move from St Albans City to Boreham Wood is a step closer to being resolved.

The Football Association this week ruled in favour of The Saints who are seeking compensation for the 20-year-old following his move to Meadow Park earlier this summer, and it is now incumbent upon Boreham Wood to make the club a satisfactory offer.

Since the ruling, Wood made an offer of compensation yesterday afternoon (Wedneday), which is now under consideration by the club’s co-owners and board members.

The Blue Square Conference South side had initially argued they did not have to pay a fee for Effiong as they said he was not correctly registered with The Saints at the end of last season.

Along with FA regulations governing players under 24 years of age, City were required to offer Effiong equal or improved terms for re-engagement of his contract before the May 14 deadline in order to keep him at Clarence Park for the 2011/12 season.

It is believed the player did not reply in writing to the offer within the 28-day deadline, thus enabling him to negotiate with other clubs and allow St Albans the right to compensation.

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The club has remained adamant it followed these regulations despite Boreham Wood’s claims to the contrary, and the FA has this week found in favour of The Saints, stating the player was indeed retained in accordance of regulations.

It is now up to the club to decide whether Boreham Wood’s offer meets its valuation of the 6ft 5in frontman, but if the two parties fail to agree a sum, either club is free to refer the matter to an FA tribunal for a ruling.

It has been a messy affair to say the least for St Albans, who were regrettably willing to let the player leave for Farnborough Town prior to Boreham Wood’s involvement, as the Hampshire club had offered an acceptable compensation package and conducted themselves in the appropriate manner.

The situation turned ugly, though, when the player turned out for Boreham Wood in a pre-season friendly before eventually signing for the club who then denied they were due to pay compensation.

St Albans City chairman, Ian Ridley, says he hopes the issue can now be resolved as soon as possible following the FA’s ruling, once the club has considered Boreham Wood’s offer.

“We want the issue resolved as soon as possible with acrimony,” said Ridley. “We have always been firm with our valuation of the player and have remained adamant we were owed compensation.

“There is a new regime at St Albans City, and all statements and our conduct are done so with the utmost probity.”

Nobody from Boreham Wood Football Club was available for comment at the time of going to press on Wednesday.