Hull City’s hopes of prising Ali McCann away from St Johnstone appear to be over after the Championship outfit were hit with a transfer embargo by the English Football League.
The Tigers were rocked on Wednesday when news of the sanctions emerged, leaving them only able to sign free agents or loan players, providing the parent club pay the salary in the case of the latter.
The ban relates to an ‘interest free loan’ taken out from the EFL and English Premier League in order to navigate the Covid crisis — and Hull chiefs insist they were fully aware of the consequences when that decision was made.
Restrictions will be lifted when the moneys are repaid in full.
A club statement read: “It is no secret that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc across football, and unfortunately the impact upon Hull City as a business has been significant.
“To mitigate the financial pressures the club is facing, we have taken out a short-term interest free loan from the EFL/PL to enable us to keep the core of our squad together and avoid being forced into player sales.
“Upon taking the loan, a number of conditions were imposed upon us and we were fully aware that we would be subject to certain limitations and restrictions in the transfer market until such time that the loan is repaid.”
— Hull City (@HullCity) July 8, 2021
The news effectively sees Hull City drop out of the race for Saints’ double-winning hero McCann, who has been slapped with a price tag of around £2m — at the very least — by McDiarmid Park chairman Steve Brown.
However, Swansea City, Stoke City and Sunderland remain admirers of the Northern Ireland internationalist and the Saints’ resolve is expected to be tested this summer, albeit not by Hull.