MORTON chief executive Warren Hawke has admitted that an ‘administrative error’ saw both Scott Tiffoney and Jai Quitongo leave the club for nothing.

The players exited the Greenock club to join Livingston and Partick Thistle respectively in the summer, but Ton received no compensation.

Tiffoney had been coached by the club since 2013, while Quitongo joined back in 2015.

Normally if a club offers a player under the age of 23 a similar or better contract than their previous deal then they would be due a fee.

But Hawke, speaking at a supporters’ forum meeting, revealed that a paperwork mistake meant Morton were left empty-handed despite the departure of two key assets.

Hawke said: “With Jai Quitongo and Scott Tiffoney, there’s two rules out there.

“One is the 60-day rule, for cross-border which we’re certainly aware of, and the 28-day rule, which means you have to offer a player a similar contract or more within in excess of 28 days for Scottish clubs.

“But a player in Scotland can leave and move south of the border between 28 and 60 days.

“That was an administrative error from us as far as Scott and Jai Quitongo are concerned. We then had a situation where we knew they wanted to go to Scottish teams, so we were still fighting for compensation.

“We were in discussions with their agents who were threatening to take them south of the border, so we made a deal for Scott to go to Livingston, he signed for Livingston and if he moves on we get 50 per cent of any given transfer fee. We had the same deal with Partick Thistle, we were protecting ourselves with the 28 and 60 day rule.

“Jai Quitongo has now gone to a team in Iran, he’s out there and he’s signed a four-year-contract and we don’t get any compensation for that.”

Hawke also explained how Ton were also due no cash for former defender and youth policy graduate Mark Russell when he went to Falkirk in the summer, because the club withdrew his contract offer.