YORK City boss Billy McEwan has revealed the club intend to fight against the "international loophole" that means Clayton Donaldson can join Hibernian for nothing this summer.

The Minstermen are ready to lodge an appeal with the FA after learning yesterday that the compensation ruling that would have entitled the KitKat Crescent outfit to a fee in this country does not apply to international transfers.

In moves between English teams, Football League and Conference clubs receive a cash sum for out-of-contract players under the age of 24 but Scotland, like all other affiliated countries, are governed by FIFA's under-23 ruling.

Donaldson will turn 23 next Wednesday, meaning City will not receive compensation if the ex-Hull City reserve plies his trade north of the border having signed a pre-contract agreement with the Scottish Premier League club.

But McEwan (pictured) is determined to contest that ruling, saying: "I am sure we can get something for him. They will need to get international clearance before he can play and we will be putting in an appeal.

"I'm hoping we can get something for coaching and developing him because it's not right."

McEwan is likely to receive support for the appeal from some of his peers in the game who he turned to for advice in the wake of yesterday's bombshell.

He said: "I've spoken to one or two people in the game at the highest level and they had not come across this loophole either. It's another harsh lesson learned and that's the seedy game of football at times. It's not nice and it kicks you in the teeth."

An angry McEwan, who began his professional career as a Hibs player in 1969, also refused permission for a photographer from a Scottish national paper to snap Donaldson at KitKat Crescent yesterday.

He said: "I threw him out of the ground because he's still a York City player until the end of the season. They can take their pictures of him when he goes to Hibernian."