Football

Bizarre Situation Sees Linfield And Crusaders Announce Signing Of Same Player

Bizarre Situation Sees Linfield And Crusaders Announce Signing Of Same Player

Linfield have really managed to hog the headlines in the past couple of weeks. Ever since the circus surrounding the Champions League draw and their potential clash with Celtic the club have been in the news daily whether it's disputing claims by the Daily Record, making statements about the clash's potential date, or struggling against a San Marino side at home, the Belfast club have had their fair share.

Now they've found themselves in the headlines once again after an utterly bizarre transfer dispute with another Belfast club over a new signing that they 'announced' last night.

At around 10.30pm on Thursday, Linfield posted a statement confirming that they had made an agreement with Josh Robsinson to join from York City on a three-year-contract, but there was just one problem.

About an hour after Linfield made their announcement, Robinson's old club Crusaders also announced that they had signed a new player - that player was also a 24-year-old centre-back called Josh Robinson who played for York City.

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So now it seems both teams are in utter confusion as to who exactly has signed the player and, at the time of writing, neither club has retracted their statement nor made any comment as to exactly what is going on with the Northern Irish defender.

Last year Robinson signed a two-year deal to move from Crusaders to York City, but after the team was relegated to the sixth tier of English football he decided to cut his stint short and make a return to the Irish Premiership.

Robinson's footballing bigamy is made even more confusing by the sheer assurance of each club's statement with both clubs seemingly fully confident that they have gained his services.

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The Crusaders released their statement at about 10.30pm on Thursday night saying:

Crusaders FC are delighted to announce that Josh Robinson has signed a four year professional contract to return to Seaview and that all necessary documentation has been lodged with the Irish Football Association.

Treasurer Tommy Whiteside commented "It was very easy to deal with Josh. He was happy to come to my home on 9th June and quickly agreed terms and duly signed a pre contract dated 29/6/17. Its great to have Josh back in the fold.

And the statement, which seemed so full of assurance and optimism, was thrown into question around an hour later when Linfield manager David Healy was quoted on their website saying:

I'm delighted to be able to advise our supporters that Josh Robinson has tonight agreed to join Linfield on a 3 year contract.

Josh is a player who I've admired and have been keen to bring to the club to increase the competition levels within our squad.

Josh is coming home from York City and his addition will add real quality to our squad.

I know our supporters will give Josh a warm welcome to the club and I am looking forward to working with him, as we continue our preparations for the competitive season which got off to a winning start last night.

The only thing left to do now is put them all in a room with Linfield on one side, Crusaders on the other, and Robinson in the middle - whichever one he runs to first will be the team he will play for.

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Gavin O'Callaghan

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