Merrick banished as McGlinchey saga rages on

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was banished to the stands for failing to sign the A-League’s Code of conduct as the battle over star player Michael McGlinchey rages on.

Merrick used his exile during Tuesday night’s FFA Cup tie to turn the spotlight on the Kiwi international’s predicament which Football Federation Australia has yet to resolve.

The 27-year-old has been in legal limbo for months as both the Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners lay claim to his services.

"I just wanted to take a close look at it and get some legal advice on the grievance procedures, because you only have to look at the way the FFA has handled the McGlinchey issue," Merrick said.

He added that the FFA discussed the McGlinchey issue on Monday "and they will probably let us know the outcome in a couple of years".

Merrick was forced to watch from the stands as the Phoenix were bundled out of the FFA Cup in a 1-0 loss to Adelaide United at Mardon Sports Complex.

Without McGlinchey, lbert Riera (All Stars duty) and Alex Rodriguez-Gorrin (injury) the Kiwi outfit was stripped of some potent match-winners.

"It has been going on for months and I don't know why they have left the boy in limbo for so long," Merrick said of the protracted arbitration.

The Mariners were furious when a Phoenix media release announcing the All White's signing was prematurely released on the FFA website and pictures emerged of the player training in New Zealand at the beginning of last month.

McGlinchey has missed all of Wellington's pre-season hit outs including last month’s clashes with Premier League clubs, Newcastle United and West Ham.

The midfielder left the Mariners on loan at the end of 2013 to follow then-coach Graham Arnold to Japanese club Vegalta Sendai.

The Professional Footballers Australia, who are backing McGlinchey, say he became a free agent following the termination of the loan.