Barnsley have claimed they are not to blame for the delay in their former manager Daniel Stendel’s appointment at Scottish side Hearts.
The German has been out of work since being sacked by Barnsley at the start of October, although Stendel had been expected to have made that return to the game with Hearts by now.
Now however, Barnsley’s Chief Executive Paul Conway has suggested that that delay is not a result of his club’s actions, telling the Daily Mail: “I would be surprised if we were to blame for any hold-up.
“It doesn’t make any logical sense to me because if we were the only issue one of two things would happen.
“Either the club would just do it and say, ‘we can resolve this post-signing.’ Or we could just work it out over the phone.
“So I’m surprised that we are being cited as the issue because it doesn’t make logical sense to me.”
Conway then went onto express his surprise at the method of communication Hearts are using to resolve the dispute.
The Scottish club have elected to speak via a written letter rather than over the phone, with Conway adding: “We have been involved in this kind of situation at Barnsley four times. I have been on both sides of it.
“It usually gets resolved reasonably quickly with a couple of phone calls, so that’s why I would be surprised if it was just us who had to be taken care of. If Hearts want to engage in written correspondence then that’s up to them.
“Is compensation to us an issue? For sure. But we are not negotiating a trade accord – if they want to resolve this quickly we are here.”
Barnsley, who picked up their first win under new manager Gerhard Struber with a 3-1 victory over Hull on Saturday, remain bottom of the Championship table, while Hearts are ninth in the Scottish Premier League, having won just two league games all season.
It is thought that Stendel is keen to take coaches Chris Stern and Dale Tonge with him to Tynecastle, with Barnsley willing to waive compensation for the pair despite both being under contract with the Tykes.
It does seem as though it is a rather strange situation developing here.
With Stendel having already left Barnsley, there is no reason for them to really want to delay his appointment at Tynecastle, so you do wonder why this compensation issue cannot be agreed after that.
Indeed, given the struggles they are facing right now, you would have thought that Hearts would have been happy with such an outcome as well, since it would allow them to focus on turning around their fortunes on the pitch sooner rather than later.
You also have to feel for Stendel here as well, who looks to have been left in limbo as a result of a situation he has no control over, which is now delaying his chance to get back to work after his departure from Oakwell.