It’s three weeks to the day since Worksop Town agreed a deal to sell Tom Elliott to Nuneaton Town - and yet not a single penny has changed hands.
What’s more, the youngster – undoubtedly Tigers’ best player – hasn’t played a competitive game of football for a full calendar month.
For reasons that are yet to be made public, the Boro have not completed the deal or paid for the player.
It is clear however, that the delay is not at the Worksop end of the transaction.
Elliott might be training with Kevin Wilson’s National League North side, but he’s still contracted to Worksop Town.
No release papers have been signed.
We’re now in territory that, at best, is frustrating for Worksop Town, the player, and presumably Nuneaton boss Wilson.
Worksop have not only lost their star midfielder, they haven’t been financially rewarded for their decision to sell and one would expect that has hampered their ability to bring in a suitable replacement.
That in turn has played a part, at least a minor one, in a downturn in their fortunes on the pitch, as their title aspirations slipped away.
Elliott has been kicking his heels, waiting for the big move to start his full-time career, and has now lost a ninth of his season to this farce.
Wilson obviously admires the Carlton-in-Lindrick 20-year-old, and wants to add him to the Nuneaton squad.
There are serious questions to be asked of both sides of this deal.
What could possibly take so long to transfer what is an undisclosed but relatively small fee?
A Nuneaton player stated on social media yesterday that he hadn’t been paid on time for the last three months, but then today the club went and signed a high calibre and experienced star in Adam Dawson, released by Kidderminster.
That’s not the move of a club with moths in their wallet.
Why have Worksop Town not forced the issue, or called a halt to the deal? Elliott is their player, and there are sure to be other clubs keen to procure his services. Why not put him back on the market until such a time that Nuneaton are ready to stump up the cash?
What if Elliott, who has been paraded in Nuneaton colours, training with the Boro in front of fans, gets injured? Will Worksop be left empty handed, with an injured player who hasn’t featured since 31st January?
His contract runs out at the end of this season, which is fast approaching, and should this deal collapse, the window in which Tigers can name their price will almost certainly be shut.
It’s a worst case scenario that no one wants to see, but the longer this saga rolls on without a conclusion in sight, the more bleak the situation gets for all concerned.
And for the sake of a youngster who just wants to play football, you’d hope Nuneaton will do the decent thing and make his move official, pay Worksop what they’re owed and set Elliott on the path to greater things.