United States international Duncan McGuire‘s proposed loan move to Blackburn Rovers from MLS side Orlando City is officially off after the English Football League Board rejected Blackburn’s appeal on Thursday.
Orlando had announced that the one-time capped U.S. striker would join the Championship club on a six-month loan with an option to buy, but Blackburn said the deal was not approved by the EFL “due to the registration documents being submitted after the 11pm transfer deadline.”
In rejecting Blackburn’s appeal against that decision, the EFL Board confirmed that the Lancashire team’s failure to click “submit” on the application until after the transfer window had closed on Feb. 1 meant that the deal could not be approved.
“The EFL Board has today upheld the decision of the EFL Executive to reject the application from Blackburn Rovers to register Duncan McGuire on loan from Orlando City,” read the EFL statement.
“The EFL initially rejected the request to register the player on the grounds that Blackburn had failed to submit the required paperwork by the 11pm transfer deadline on 1 February 2024 but the Club asked that the Board review that decision.
“Blackburn Rovers admitted it did not click to submit the application to the EFL until after the closure of the window as a result of human error but argued that all relevant details had been agreed, signed and uploaded onto the system in advance of 11pm.
“Upon comprehensive review of submissions, the Board determined that the upload of documents into a draft application area did not constitute sending documents to the EFL. It also took the decision that it was not prepared to exercise discretion to permit the registration outside of the window as the EFL Executive had correctly interpreted and applied its Regulations and associated Guidance.”
In response, Blackburn said they were “disappointed by the outcome, but accepts the decision of the EFL Board.”
McGuire, who scored 13 goals in his debut MLS campaign last year, will now return to Orlando ahead of the start of the 2024 MLS season later this month.
“Following the decision by the EFL Board, Duncan McGuire will return to Orlando City in the coming days,” Orlando said in a statement.
“We understand and sympathize with Duncan’s situation over the last week. He is still an important part of our Club and we are committed to providing him with a platform for his growth. We look forward to welcoming him back into our environment soon.”