Published: 18:45, 25 January 2020
| Updated: 08:32, 26 January 2020
Ebbsfleet United are under a transfer embargo for failing to pay a bill.
The Fleet signed midfielder Michael Timlin on Wednesday but he was unable to play in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Torquay as the club can not register players with the National League.
"We're under an embargo," said Ebbsfleet boss Kevin Watson, who had the unenviable task of making the news public to the club's supporters.
"Michael has signed and his registration went through with the FA but the National League put a block on it.
"It's an internal issue, a bill needs paying. I can't dress it up any other way.
"It's something that is out of my hands and it's not an issue that is down to me to solve."
Watson also revealed that Timlin stayed with the squad and was on the bench, effectively as a member of the coaching staff, at Torquay.
"He signed on Wednesday, he trained with us on Thursday and travelled with the team on Friday," added the Fleet boss.
"I got a call once we had left on Friday to say he wasn't available, which was a big blow – it meant we only had four subs on the bench.
"When I found out, Michael had only been on the bus for 10 minutes. I said if he wanted to get off at the next stop and spend the weekend with his family, he could, but the professional he is, he wanted to stay with us and be with the lads."
Despite the problems off the field, relegation-threatened Fleet battled to a deserved point at Torquay, although results elsewhere mean they are now 10 points from safety.
Ebbsfleet host Woking on Tuesday night at Stonebridge Road, but Tomlin will not be available as the embargo is for at least seven days.
The embargo comes nearly a year to the day that Ebbsfleet's squad broke their silence last season over unpaid wages.
It proved to be a theme at the Fleet with the players even refusing to warm up for one game - against Wrexham - in protest at continued financial problems at the club.
More by this authorMatthew Panting