City must face an independent FIFA tribunal to see if they will still have to pay Falkirk for Mark Stewart.

But it is likely to be well into next year before both clubs will be summoned to appear in front of a panel because of the long waiting list with similar cases.

City’s stance has never changed on the striker since they signed him in the summer. They have always maintained that Stewart was a free agent after his contract with the Bairns ran out the week before he arrived at Valley Parade.

But the Scottish First Division club argue that they are entitled to training compensation for their top scorer last season because of the amount of time he spent at the club.

Both sides have been in regular contact to try to resolve the issue but, after failing to reach an agreement, the case will now head for an outside ruling.

Football’s governing body have to get involved because the transfer crosses international boundaries.

It is understood that Falkirk were originally pushing for a bumper fee of around £330,000. Any figure put down by the panel is unlikely to be anywhere near that.

* Read full story in today’s Telegraph & Argus