Shrimps’ boss Bentley battles transfer embargo

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley insists he doesn’t feel let down by the powers that be at the Globe Arena – despite revealing the club is operating under a transfer embargo.

The Shrimps are heading into the New Year with four of their 20-man senior squad seeing their loan deals expire in January.

Top scorer Cole Stockton will be recalled by Tranmere Rovers once his six-month loan concludes after the game with Notts County on January 7.

The club’s other loanees – Burnley pair Alex Whitmore and Ntumba Massanka, as well as Cheltenham Town’s James Jennings – see their deals end after Monday’s meeting with Crewe Alexandra.

Having admitted it’s not the first time the club has faced an embargo, Bentley outlined some of the headaches facing him come the January transfer window.

“We’ve had a couple in the past and we’ve always done everything within the regulations,” he said.

“We’re working hard with the EFL and the board are working hard; it’s been very difficult to work under the circumstances but you get on with the job in hand and that’s what we’ll do this time.

“There are rules and regulations we have to stay within but we’re hoping we can do business.

“There will be some players out of our reach but there will be some players available; we aren’t blessed to have a lot of money.

“I have to crack on with it; it’s no use moaning as, hopefully, we will get players in to improve the squad.”

The days of transfer embargoes had seemed in the dim and distant past following Diego Lemos’ takeover of the club earlier in the season.

However, big plans to turn around the club seem to be just that as his spell at the helm has bordered on the farcical.

October’s wages to players and staff were paid late while, only last week, the club’s board of directors issued a statement in which they revealed communication with Mr Lemos was ‘difficult’ while adding he had failed to deliver on promised investment.

That statement emerged after director Nigel Adams announced he would be resigning from the board, followed by news that co-chairman, Ali Abdulrahman Al Hashemi, had also tendered his resignation.

“We have plenty of targets but you find yourself in a different situation when a new owner comes in,” Bentley said.

“You identify targets you think you can bring in, probably in a different price bracket, because of what you were sold.

“Because of the way it’s gone, the goalposts have moved again, and that’s the same with regards to the loan situation.

“I don’t feel let down but disappointed; at football clubs there are a lot of things to take into consideration.

“What’s happened is we’ve gone from one extreme to the other because of an owner who has come in and promised we’ll do this, we’ll do that and try to improve in all departments.

“I was sold this vision and it seemed very ambitious but we’re a couple of days from January and nothing is in place.”