The Football League have blocked Willy Topp from playing for City.

The Chilean striker was pencilled in to line up for the reserves against Leicester tomorrow afternoon.

But Topp's international clearance - which had gone through on Friday morning - has been put back on ice after the league intervened with the Football Association.

Joint-chairman Mark Lawn confirmed: "We got international clearance for Willy from the FA and two hours later that was revoked because of the Football League. We're trying to work it out."

It is yet more red tape in a frustrating scenario that has dragged on for over two months.

Fed-up boss Stuart McCall said: "Apparently there are two words in the contract that have to be pulled out and the Football League have jumped on it. But I don't really know what's going on apart from it's another little hitch.

"I thought Willy was going to be clear and while he hadn't played enough football to have been on the bench on Saturday, he could have been in the reserves. He needs more football now."

The latest twist in the Topp saga set the tone for a depressing weekend as City crashed 3-0 at home to Tranmere in the FA Cup.

"We didn't win enough of our individual battles," admitted McCall. "Tranmere were strong all over the park. They have been on a bit of a wobble lately and if we could have scored first, we would have seen a better game, but it wasn't to be.

"Both teams started quite lively but then we gave away a really sloppy goal and it was an uphill task after that. I was looking forward to the game but the opening goal gave them a big fillip.

"Tranmere looked a good side but you can get that from the lift of scoring early on."

Rovers chief Ronnie Moore said: "The lads were a bit unhappy with one or two things said this end when Stuart mentioned our first-round game with Chesterfield. He was saying he couldn't tell who was the League One side and who was from League Two - I'm sure he knows now."

  • City's trip to Bury scheduled for Saturday, January 5, will have to be rearranged as the Shakers are away at Norwich in the third round of the FA Cup that day.

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