Hartlepool United had to turn down offers of free loan players from Football League clubs in the January transfer window.
Pools are currently under a National League imposed transfer ban. And while they are able to sell players, highlighted by the £60,000 made in the window through the sales of Connor Simpson and Nicky Deverdics, they are unable to bring anyone in.
Further to that they were also prevented from extending contracts or existing loans, meaning key men Jonathan Franks and Keith Watson departed the Vic, along with striker Tomi Adeloye.
So while a number of clubs from the Championship downwards stepped up to aid Pools plight by offering them players for nothing, and agreed to cover all of their wages, Hartlepool had to knock back those generous deals.
The hope had been that Pools transfer embargo would be lifted at some point last month and Craig Harrison could strengthen his ailing squad, who now sit just four points off the fifth tier dropzone. But due to a planned takeover by Hartlepool businessman Chris Musgrave hitting the blocks, Pools remain under embargo.
The embargo was placed on Pools as they are yet to fulfill financial commitments required by the league, as well as some vital paperwork remaining uncompleted and unverified by the league’s board.
It is a situation that stretches back to November.