Football in Bracknell
In Depth

What is a Dual Registration transfer in non league football

Our occasional column from Darrell Freeland focuses on the confusing non league issue of dual registered players

What is a Dual Registration transfer in non league football

Recently, we’ve seen a few players signing for clubs without leaving their existing club and a few people have been wondering how that works.

Dual registration is only available for non-contract players not those on contract. Contracted players are usually found at the higher end of the non-league pyramid and means players are tied to a club for the duration of the contract.

Any club wishing to sign a contracted player would need to negotiate a price with the existing club to buy the player. Contracted players can of course go on formal loans but not dual registration.

The lower down the non-league pyramid you go and you are much more likely to find non-contracted players. These are registered with clubs but are not paid a set amount, in some cases not all.

Some non-contracted might be paid an amount per match played or they might get paid expenses only rather than a match fee. Several won’t get any money or may even be paying subscription fees to play for clubs.

All this means is that players are not tied to clubs and can move freely in accordance with the 7-day approach rules and agreeing to join a new club.

Players can of course dual-register though and sign for a club in another league without leaving their existing club.

The two clubs in question might agree that a fringe player at one club could benefit from playing regularly at the other club without formally transferring. The same is often true maybe for a player coming back from injury.

Typically, the player would dual-register with a lower level club but it’s not always the case and players can only be registered to one club per league so dual registration is only for other leagues.

‘Importantly, players can only be registered with a single club in any particular league’

You could for example have a player registered to play Bostik League for Bracknell Town, then be registered to play for Binfield in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Camberley Town in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League and Berks County in the Thames Valley Premier League.

Importantly, players can only be registered with a single club in any particular league and likewise can only play for one club per competition typically.

Obviously, the main club would decide with the other club(s) where and when a player goes and plays for a dual-registered club – it could be short term, long term or maybe for specific competitions.

We’ve had instances recently where players have dual-registered and we’ve shown them as registered to clubs in our weekly round-up. We haven’t said they’ve transferred clubs nor have we made a big deal out of it, they have just appeared in our round-up.

We were then told that we were wrong by other media outlets and that the player(s) haven’t transferred but then again, we never said they did.

If you see a player registered for a club in another league then there’s every chance they have been dual-registered and still remain with the parent. We will only say a player has transferred clubs if we are sure the player has done so.

Main image: Jamie McClurg and Dave Hancock of Bracknell Town are currently dual registered with Binfield. Photo: Neil Graham.

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Darrell Freeland

Darrell is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of local football, it's teams and leagues and was previously club secretary at Bracknell Town FC.

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