BOSTON United and Grimsby Town are set to lock horns again after central defender Shaun Pearson finally joined the Mariners yesterday (Tuesday).
The fee for the highly-rated Pearson will now be decided by a tribunal after the two clubs failed to agree on a deal.
And with a compensation fee for former United managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst also being decided by a tribunal, the war of words between the two club chairmen has intensified.
United chairman David Newton is taking the pair, and the Mariners, to court over Hurst and Scott’s departure.
The Mariners have been issued with legal papers and have until July 7 to register their defence.
However, the Pilgrims chairman has refuted suggestions those tensions caused the stalemate over Pearson.
Referring to Pearson’s transfer valuation, Mr Newton told the BBC: “Their first offer was way too low and they were not going to budge from their initial fee.
“We never even got into a negotiation so we’re going to a tribunal. We want what is best for Shaun and for Boston.”
But John Fenty, Grimsby chairman, holds a different view. “We wanted to agree a fair settlement which reflected Boston’s investment in the player they signed for free two years ago,” he is reported to have told the media.
“He has been on part-time wages there and, while I understand the club offered him a slight rise, he wanted to become a full-time professional.
“We made a fair offer based on how we feel a tribunal might see the situation.
“We asked Boston for their minimum figure but that is several times more than what we are prepared to offer. We are poles apart and so we are heading for a tribunal hearing to decide.”
The Mariners have signed the highly-rated defender on a two-year deal but a tribunal will now be asked to set the valuation.
Any player under the age of 24 who is formally offered the same or improved contract by a club can only leave if a fee is agreed by two clubs or set by tribunal.
United will have to prove to the tribunal they helped coach and improve Pearson over the past two seasons with the club. It is believed United paid around £6,000 when they signed Pearson from Stamford two years ago.
He was twice voted player of the year, scoring 20 goals and winning three trophies.
The 22-year-old’s signing will not come as a shock to either set of fans after constant speculation linking him with a switch to the Mariners was confirmed at the weekend by Grimsby.
He has been on the wish-list of ex-United bosses Hurst and Scott ever since the pair’s departure to North Lincolnshire in March.
In the meantime life goes on at Jakemans Stadium with pre-season training starting on Saturday.
There are no further United signings expected before then.
The Pilgrims have brought in four new faces so far this summer – with Kevin Austin, Jordan Fairclough, Chris Hall and Mikel Suarez all putting pen-to-paper.
Lee Canoville and co-boss Jason Lee have invited a host of players to pre-season training – with a view to securing a long-term future with the Pilgrims.
Canoville said last week: “There is still a long time before the start of the season and we will bide our time with further signings.”
Canoville also confirmed there is no further update on out-of-contract striker Spencer Weir-Daley – the last remaining United player whose future has not yet been resolved.
Defender Kieran Murphy has signed for Ryman Premier League outfit Carshalton Athletic.
l FOUR new sides will line-up against Boston United Reserves in the Lincolnshire League next season.
Lincoln Moorlands Railway Reserves, Market Rasen Town, Nettleham and Skegness United have all been admitted to the Lincolnshire League with Skellingthorpe PFC withdrawing.