Richard Brittain transfer row rumbles on

Richard Brittain in action for Ross County in April. Picture: SNS
Richard Brittain in action for Ross County in April. Picture: SNS
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RICHARD Brittain may find his career in limbo as it emerged last night that SPL rivals St Johnstone and Ross County both plan to register him for next season.

The 29-year-old Ross County skipper agreed a pre-contract deal with the Perth club in January when Steve Lomas was in charge. But he wants Saints to shred the document citing “personal reasons”.

It is understood County believe they can use the SFA rulebook to support the player’s case to stay in the Highlands but the Perth club are adamant that under SPL rules, Brittain is their man for the next two seasons. Now the midfielder could be left kicking his heels until the bureaucrats come to a decision.

Yesterday, rival club chairmen Steve Brown and Roy McGregor held face-to-face talks at Hampden but failed to agree a way forward.

Confirming that he was now seeking “clarity” from the SPL and the SFA, McDiarmid Park chief Brown said: “I have spoken to Roy and to the player but nothing has changed after those conversations.

“We have no intention of backing down. “With Steve Lomas going to Millwall we have a new manager here in Tommy Wright but that doesn’t change things regarding Richie’s situation.

“Tommy wants him here for next season and we have Europa League qualifiers next month.

“We offered Richie a two-year deal in January, which he grabbed, and we fully expect him to join the rest of the squad in pre-season on 27 June.”

Former Livingston and St Mirren player Brittain – valued at £50,000 by the Dingwall club when Saints tried to take him south in January – failed to win over Brown in a head-to-head meeting at McDiarmid Park last month, with the Saints chairman adamant that they had followed the rulebook to the letter.

He is reluctant to take the blame for making a dramatic U-turn which would have far-reaching implications for the pre-contract system.

But County are eager to hold on to their star man, with Paul Lawson off to Motherwell and out-of-contract midfielder Iain Vigurs being linked with the Fir Park outfit.