Royle finally gets his man

RICARDO Fuller will make his Ipswich Town debut against Leicester City tomorrow after the Blues won an unprecedented appeal to have a work permit granted.

By Derek Davis

RICARDO Fuller will make his Ipswich Town debut against Leicester City tomorrow after the Blues won an unprecedented appeal to have a work permit granted.

The Jamaican international will go straight into the Town starting line-up after being given the thumbs-up by Home Office department Work Permits UK to play for the Blues after joining on an initial one month's loan from Southampton.

It is the first time a player has had a permit granted so that he can play on loan for another club.


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Fuller joined Town last Friday and travelled up to Wolves with the squad that evening.

But the Blues were then informed that despite receiving clearance from the Football League and the FA, Fuller was not allowed to play after it turned out that Work Permits UK were not happy that he was covered to appear on loan.

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Town appealed against that decision and, as the EADT reported yesterday, focused on Fuller being left in the lurch somewhat by Harry Redknapp, who signed him at Portsmouth and Southampton but then left him behind at St Mary's when he went back to Fratton Park.

A three-man panel in Sheffield upheld the appeal and gave the go-ahead for him to play for the Blues. Blues manager Joe Royle, along with club secretary Sally Webb, made the successful and unique application.

Royle said last night: “The panel were sympathetic to our case and gave us the go-ahead.

“Although a precedent has now been set, it was not what we focused on. We pointed out that Ricardo had been signed by Harry Redknapp and somewhat left in the lurch by him.

“Coupled with the fact that George Burley had signed two new strikers it was unfair on Ricardo.

“It is a much-needed lift for us as Ricardo is someone we have wanted for some time. If all goes well it may turn into something more permanent but for now it is one month and he will go straight into the team for Leicester.”

Fuller stayed for the Wolves game but returned to the south coast during the week before once more making his way to East Anglia last night.

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