Snub for Scunthorpe United as Matt Sparrow joins Crawley Town from Brighton & Hove Albion
The January transfer plans of Scunthorpe United have suffered a big knock with the news that Matt Sparrow has opted against a return to Glanford Park.
The Iron had been tracking the 31-year-old ever since Brian Laws returned to the Iron for a third stint as boss in November, but after agreeing a settlement with Brighton & Hove Albion to terminate his contract, the midfielder last night joined Crawley Town.
Only this week Laws had admitted his furstration at seeing any potential deal being held up by the fact that the Seagulls were looking to release Sparrow, who previously spent 11 years with United.
That proved a timely delay for Crawley, who have secured the player on a contract until the end of the season on the back of selling Hope Akpan to Reading 24 hours earlier.
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Sparrow - who lives just 15 miles down the road from the Red Devils - said the switch to the Broadfield Stadium had happened 'quite quickly'.
"I have watched Crawley's progress in the last couple of years and hopefully I can add to what is already here in terms of the squad and help us push for the play-offs," he said.
"It has been frustrating not being involved at Brighton this season so I cannot wait to get playing again."
Crawley boss Richie Barker believes Sparrow's experience will be a big benefit in his hopes of guiding the club to a play-off place - and a highest-ever league finish.
"He is a proven performer in League One," said the former Bury manager.
"And when it became clear that he was looking to leave Brighton we were very keen to bring him to the club.
"I am delighted he has agreed to join us because he had other options and I think he is a player who will definitely improve what is already a good squad."
Sparrow's decision to join Crawley should at least mean he makes a brief return to Glanford Park.
Scunthorpe host the former Blue Square Premier League champions, against whom they lost 3-0 on the opening day of the campaign, on February 9.