Peterhead boss Jim McInally has hit out at Scottish football’s governing bodies following a rule change which has prevented him signing Hashim Bakar on a short-term deal.
The Blue Toon gaffer wanted to sign Bakar on a 28-day contract to assess the attacker in the League Cup group stage.
However, the rules on the minimum length of contract a player can be offered were changed by the SPFL last season, so that Scotland would follow the same regulations as UEFA.
Before, clubs could offer players a 28-day contract – but now the minimum length of deal that can be offered is one which runs through until the next transfer window.
Bakar, who is from Leicester, had played for the Buchan side as a trialist in three pre-season friendlies.
With trialists not allowed to feature in the League Cup group stage, McInally had hoped to sign Bakar on a short-term deal and assess him in the cup – just as he did with Hugh Samuels two years ago. but the new SPFL rules mean the deal has been scuppered.
He said: “There’s no doubt they are making it harder for part-time teams.
“If you look at the format of the League Cup, it’s basically staged for the big teams all to go through.
“That’s why the format is how it is with the seedings and even with the way the games are planned. It always seems to be to the benefit of the full-time team.
“Sadly, I do think they are making life harder for part-time teams to operate.
“It’s quite sad because a lot of people on the committees at the SFA and SPFL are involved in part-time clubs.
“But they seem to let things go. It seems like they go a bit power crazy and forget the reality of the situation.
“I can understand not playing trialists in the League Cup because if the game was televised it wouldn’t look good for viewers with the teams showing trialists.
“I would have had to sign Hashim until January but I didn’t think that was fair on him.
“I just think football is hard enough anyway for part-time clubs.
“For part-time clubs we now only have this small window of two or three weeks to assess trialists.
“Going into the League Cup so quickly and not being able to play trialists meant you could sign players until the end of the window, like we did two years ago, was the way round it. But now they’ve closed this window it makes it doubly hard to assess trialists.
“I think it’s unfair on footballers as well because it makes it so difficult for them to get a club.”
The Evening Express contacted the SPFL about the rule change, but the organisation declined to comment.