PFA contact Sheffield Wednesday over handling of Marvin Johnson training programme

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Sheffield Wednesday have been contacted by the PFA after concerns were raised over Marvin Johnson’s situation at the club, The Star understands.

The left winger - who signed a new contract to stay at the club in June - has not featured in competitive football this season and was not included in an EFL squad registration list that filled only 24 of 25 available spots.

Johnson is therefore not be eligible to play for the club unless in the unlikely event he is registered to the remaining place on the list.

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The PFA (Professional Footballers Association) grievance surrounds an understanding that Johnson has been instructed to train alone in recent weeks, with concerns that it contravenes FIFA regulations.

FIFA clarified its regulations on the “status and transfer of players” (RSTP) in November 2021. Amendments to Article 14 (2) found that asking a player to train on their own may result in a club engaging in “abusive conduct”.

The change is thought to have come about after it was suggested the theory of a player training alone could be at odds with UK employment law.

Sources have indicated to The Star that Johnson has been invited to take on warm-up drills with the squad in recent weeks before conducting some of his training with head of sports science Rob Lee.

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It’s suggested other sessions have been spent alone in the gym at Middlewood Road.

“I have 24 players and everybody is training in our squad,” Xisco told reporters on Thursday when asked if Johnson had been training alone.

“In training we have different groups and manage different situations with him.

“Sometimes we are working with up to seven, eight groups. Who pays him? Our club. For sure he is training with our squad and is using our fitness coach and uses the same facilities.

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“We follow everything in the rules about him. The most important thing is he is here and he is part of our club.”

Xisco has taken a stance of not publicly discussing the reasons for Johnson’s standing in his thinking.

The Star reported on deadline day that a deal that would have seen Johnson make a loan switch to Derby County broke down late in the day.

It is understood that the deal broke down over Wednesday’s request for a loan fee and bonus structure on top of full payment of Johnson’s wages.

The club are understood to have acknowledged receipt of the PFA’s contact earlier this week and a review of the situation is ongoing.

Sheffield Wednesday have been invited for comment.

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