Key exit at Preston North End rivals Blackburn Rovers following transfer investigation into failed January deadline day deal

13 miles separate Deepdale and Ewood Park13 miles separate Deepdale and Ewood Park
13 miles separate Deepdale and Ewood Park
Blackburn Rovers failed in their deadline day attempts to sign striker Duncan McGuire - who was also interesting Sheffield Wednesday at the time

Preston North End rivals Blackburn Rovers are moving forward without long-standing club secretary Ian Silvester following an internal investigation into their failure to sign USA striker Duncan McGuire in January.

An inquiry was held after the Ewood Park outfit announced the signing of the Orlando City forward at 11pm on transfer deadline day - only to be told by the EFL that the required paperwork had not been submitted.

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It’s been reported the necessary documents had been uploaded to the EFL’s portal around an hour before the deadline but had not been sent.

The error was the second January transfer window in a row that Rovers experienced registration issues. In the same window in 2023, Preston’s Lancashire rivals had late swoops for Nottingham Forest’s Lewis O’Brien and Rochdale midfielder Ethan Brierley rejected by the powers that be.

McGuire, who was also a deadline day target for Sheffield Wednesday, has since bagged four goals in nine appearances after linking up with his Orlando team-mates in the MLS. It has also emerged that the 23-year-old currently has offers on the table from clubs in Belgium and Germany, while the Owls also retain an interest.

Luckily for Rovers, they had enough fire-power in their ranks to stave off the threat of relegation to League One as John Eustace’s side finished the 2023-24 season in 19th place - three points above the drop zone. However, any transfer deals during the summer transfer window will be handled by someone else following news of Silvester’s departure after 12 years at Ewood.

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Speaking in March, Director of Football Gregg Broughton told the Lanacashire Telegraph: "What you can't account for is a human error which was the situation that caused Duncan's transfer to fall through. That's not making an excuse, it is inexcusable.

"There is an enquiry going on which is being led by the administrative side of the club. I am not at liberty to go into that because there is confidentiality around that in terms of the results.

"Some things have to be confidential and this is one of those. I am not trying to avoid any questions, I am here fronting up today."

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