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Gillingham's transfer embargo changes nothing says manager Steve Evans

It’s business as usual for Gillingham boss Steve Evans despite the transfer embargo placed on the club.

Gills can't pay transfer fees but they are still allowed to sign free agents and complete half-season loan deals. Under the terms of the embargo they are permitted a squad of 23 players to ensure they can fulfil fixtures.

The transfer embargo won't stop Steve Evans bringing players to the club Picture: Andy Jones
The transfer embargo won't stop Steve Evans bringing players to the club Picture: Andy Jones

Evans has made six summer signings, all for free, but still only has 18 professionals registered, including two who are transfer listed. He’ll be looking to make several more signings but is unlikely to reach the maximum quota.

The current embargo relates to the late filing of accounts with Companies House and the terms of their EFL Monitored Loan Agreement, which is subject to an embargo, for a short period of time. Clubs in receipt of a monitored grant - part of the rescue package agreed between the EFL and the Premier League - are subject to certain restrictions, in respect to transfer spend and player wages.

Gills chairman Paul Scally says the club has received confirmation from the auditors that the process (of filing their accounts) will be completed by Friday, July 23.

The Companies House website confirms the club's accounts should have been filed by May 31. Mr Scally cited Covid-related staffing issues for the delay.

It’s not holding Evans back, however, He and his staff will be busy watching players this week and is close to making new additions.

“It doesn’t effect us,” the manager insisted. “We are allowed 23 senior professionals and loan deals that even if they run to the end of the season every loan deal will have a break clause in January to suit parent and loanee club. It won’t effect us in anything we do.

“We are not going to get to 23 senior professionals in our group, we would love to have 22-23, that would be the optimum number, but we don’t have the money to do that, so we have to go with a bit less in terms of quantity and try and keep our standards high in quality.

“If you look at the attacking options we have, with Oliver looking as he is, we have Akinde, Danny Lloyd, Dempsey, Lee, Reeves, they are very gifted attacking players.

“We do need someone who gets in behind and moves, we need one of them, we are trying desperately to do it and we need to strengthen in central defence and midfield. Other than that we are fine, and of course another goalkeeper.”

The Gills are one of eight EFL clubs operating under a transfer embargo. In June, EFL clubs approved an amendment to the regulations to allow the league to publish a list of clubs under embargo.

More: Covid outbreak rocks Gillingham's pre-season plans

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