Jermaine Defoe must have been looking forward to his return his White Hart Lane with his new club Portsmouth this weekend in the Premiership but due to a FA ruling, his first match against his old club Tottenham Hotspur would have to wait.
Pompey originally signed Defoe on loan from Spurs in January but soon after signed a permanent. Yet the player doesn’t qualify to play against Spurs this time as a Premier League spokesman says:
The rules are clear. A player who is taken on loan and then during the course of the transfer window, if that loan is made permanent, he is not allowed to play against the team who originally loaned him.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp is of course not amused at the FA decision and vents his annoyance somewhat like this:
It was news to me to be honest.
What happened was we took Jermain on transfer deadline day night and obviously the Benjani deal was dragging on. And that wasn’t getting done, so for us to get this through on time, Peter Storrie had to do it as a loan and then convert it to a full transfer after.
By the time Benji had agreed at Man City it was in danger of over running the window. That was what the problem was. We couldn’t agree it until that was done at Manchester City.
We had to do a loan deal but it got converted to a full deal almost immediately. Now they are saying because it was a loan you can’t go on loan and play against the club that loaned you out. It’s a load of nonsense, it’s some silly rule. There’s nothing we can do about it.
When was it made clear? I think it was last night. Peter rang me up and said ‘we could have a problem here with Jermain’. But he thought it might be solved easily enough.
We were all looking forward to him playing at White Hart Lane. He was popular there. It’s nonsense really. It’s been converted to a transfer and it only happened because the Benjani deal took so long. We couldn’t complete the Jermain deal without the money. It was a back-to-back deal.
Peter has been talking to people all day but it’s difficult to change it at this stage. It’s a blow.
It is a blow indeed for Pompey and especially for Jermaine Defoe who has undergone a dramatic change of form since his move from White Hart Lane to Fratton Park in January. But there is always a next time, Jermain, or in his case, a next first time!