Liam Noble: Forest Green 'may report Notts County to FA' over alleged wrongdoing

Liam Noble
Liam Noble captained Forest Green to victory over Tranmere in May's National League promotion final

Forest Green's owner Dale Vince says they may report Notts County to the Football Association regarding their pursuit of Rovers' captain Liam Noble.

Notts want to re-sign Noble, 26, who spent two seasons at Meadow Lane before joining Forest Green in June 2016.

Vince told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "We may, because I don't think they're going to grasp the seriousness of the situation unless we do [complain]."

The Magpies acted "professionally and diligently", insists owner Alan Hardy.

Earlier on Friday, Vince claimed County had made "behind-the-scenes contact" with Noble, having had offers for the midfielder rejected.

FA rules state that players cannot be approached by another club while under contract without the permission of their current club.

'He is not for sale'

Notts have said they made an offer of £100,000 for Noble, which they believed would match League Two rivals Rovers' asking price, but, in a strongly worded statement, Vince dismissed that claim.

He said: "We have received a series of bids for Liam. The first we considered to be a joke. Their latest 'final' bid we received was not for £100,000, as their owner claimed in the press yesterday [Thursday].

"Equally, the claim made yesterday about us suggesting they could double that amount and still not get him is completely false.

"We've been very clear from the outset that we did not want to sell Liam and the antics of Notts County since then have only firmed up that position. He is not for sale.

"We want Notts County to stop what they are doing, including the behind-the-scenes contact with the player, which we consider to be a breach of FA rules.

"Forest Green Rovers may be the newest and smallest member of the Football League family, but we know how to conduct ourselves and how to undertake a transfer negotiation the right way - quietly and respectfully, club to club."

'Forest Green changed their minds'

In response to Forest Green's statement, Hardy insisted his club's football operations director, Jason Turner, had acted properly.

"I can confirm that a number of bids have been made by the club, and that the final bid was for a transfer fee of £100,000 payable immediately," he told the club website. "Why Dale Vince would deny this when it is fact baffles me.

"Furthermore, Jason Turner, who has been handling this matter in the strictest of confidence, was told by James Mooney of Forest Green Rovers when the final bid was rejected that they would not sell him to us for double the price.

"Dale Vince also claims they have been very clear from the outset that they did not want to sell Liam.

"While this may be the case, they have also been very clear from the outset that an offer of £100,000 guaranteed would be acceptable.

"It was only when this bid was lodged that they changed their minds.

"I am more than comfortable that we have negotiated with Forest Green Rovers in a professional and diligent manner."

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