THE Blues carried out a transfer deadline clear-out yesterday, with midfielder Mark Hughes heading the list of departures.
The popular Hughes, an integral member of manager Mark Wright’s first-team squad, was freed from his contract after playing in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Gillingham.
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland joined the Bees yesterday in a deal which runs until the end of the season. Wright was reluctant to part company with Hughes, but the financial constraints the Blues are working under meant they had little choice but to let him leave.
The player almost moved to Underhill in the summer, but failed to agree personal terms.
Striker Eddie Johnson also had his contract terminated over the weekend, and veteran defender Paul Butler has agreed a deal which sees him become a free agent.
Young forwards Paul McManus and Andy Mitchell have joined Welsh Premier League club Bangor City, while Tony Dinning will begin a temporary loan with Blue Square Premier outfit Grays Athletic next week.
The departures leave manager Mark Wright short of options for tonight’s League Two fixture against Rochdale at the Deva Stadium (7.45pm).
With Glenn Rule and Laurence Wilson suspended, Stephen Vaughan out injured for the season and David Mannix not match fit, Wright has only 16 fit and available players to pick from.
The Blues have had a transfer embargo placed on them by the Football League, but Wright may be allowed to bring in new players once the transfer window for temporary loans opens next week.