Deals sealed thanks to red tape escape

Brice Irie-Bi. Picture: Blackpool Football Club
Brice Irie-Bi. Picture: Blackpool Football Club
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BLACKPOOL have finally completed deals to sign Anderson Banvo and Brice Irie-Bi.

The pair have been training with the Seasiders this summer and agreed to join the club almost two weeks ago.

After problems involving compensation and agents, the pair have signed one-year deals with the option of a further 12 months.

Banvo, 19, was released at the end of last season by French giants Paris St-Germain

after firing 30 goals for their reserve side.

He’s a tall, strong striker and will initially go into the club’s development squad.

A problem with his agent caused the deal to be delayed, as club secretary Matt Williams explained“The issue with Banvo was that the agent who brought him to us was unlicensed,” he said.

“It was only when we contacted the FA about the deal that this came to light.

“Luckily, Anderson was desperate to join us and told the agent he wanted nothing to do with him, so we were able to get the deal done.”

20-year-old Irie-Bi’s problem was a little different. The Seasiders needed clarification as to whether they had to pay compensation to the midfielder’s former club, Lille.

A development fee is due if a professional is under 23 and had been offered a new deal by his club up to 60 days before his contract expired.

Williams said: “We couldn’t even get a response from his club in France, let alone an answer. Lille refused to communicate with us after an incident they had with an English club in the past.

“Brice himself flew back to France to try to sort things out only to be turned away by Lille.

“In the end, it was the French FA who got us the relevant paperwork and pushed the deal through.”

Both players are long-term projects for Pool boss Ian Holloway and played for the club’s development squad in yesterday’s behind-closed-doors game against Limerick.

Algerian striker Adda Djeziri fired a hat-trick as Pool beat the Irish Premier League side 6-0. Anderson was also on the scoresheet at Squires Gate, as were James Caton and Tom Barkhuizen.

Scott Robertson, Bob Harris and Chris Basham also played.