Port Vale manager Micky Adams only discovered that the club was under transfer embargo when he tried to sign a goal keeper on emergency loan this week.
Vale find themselves with a shortage of stoppers at present, with first choice keeper Chris Neal out for the season, and Ryan Boot is ill with suspected glandular fever, which leaves only reserve keeper Sam Johnson fit for their clash at Stevenage on Saturday.
Tom Pope, Vale's leading goal scorer, will be makeshift keeper should Johnson pick up an injury.
Vale secretary Bill Lodey has confirmed the club has been placed under the embargo but says he expects it will be lifted shortly, whilst the Football League typically do not comment on such matters.
Although there is a deadline for emergency loan signings, the Football League sees goalkeepers as an exception, meaning that should the club resolve any outstanding financial issues, they will be allowed to bring a keeper in before the end of next week.
Speaking to the Sentinel newspaper, manager Adams said: “Our immediate problem is our goalkeeping situation. Chris Neal is injured and Ryan Boot has gone down ill, he has had some blood tests and we suspect it is probably glandular fever but we can’t confirm that until tomorrow."
“We have been on to the League about it and apparently we have a transfer embargo on us at this moment in time. I don’t know why, so don’t even ask me, but we can’t add to the goalkeeping situation."
“What that effectively means is we will go down there with one goalkeeper and will have seven outfield players on the bench. Popey is a good goalkeeper, believe me.”
It has been somewhat of a turbulent week for the club and Adams, who was booed by away supporters after his side's 5-0 thrashing at Bristol City on Tuesday.
Adams admitted after that match that the level of abuse has led him to consider his future at the club, with his current deal expiring in the summer, and talks of a new deal having stalled for some time.