Sheffield Wednesday’s duty of care as Owls contracts draw to a close

Sheffield Wednesday do have a duty of care to help any injured players recover, even if their contracts are expiring at the end of the season.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:30 pm

Wednesday have had more than their fair share of injuries over the course of the recent campaign, with only one player (Barry Bannan) starting more than 38 of the 46 Championship games in 2020/21.

One player who battled with plenty of time on the sidelines was Joost van Aken, who has since left for Zulte Waragem in the Belgian Pro League, whilst another who is out of contract as things stand is Moses Odubajo – a player who was closing in on a return to fitness as the season came to a close.

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Injuries are part of the game, however they take on an extra level of importance when players are coming to the end of their deals, as an injury could have a direct impact on their options for the season that follows.

It's understood that in the standard playing contract of EFL players, there is a clause stating that clubs have to continue to provide medical treatment for a player injured in the line of duty, so to speak, if that injury occurred prior to the player's contract expiring – though there remains no financial commitment to them.

For instance, should Tom Lees – who was injured against Middlesbrough – need extra time to recover, then Wednesday do have a duty of care to give him access to the facilities and personnel that he would require to get himself back to fitness even after his current deal expires.

Sheffield Wednesday's Tom Lees was injured towards the end of the season. (Pic Steve Ellis)

With Lees, there has been no word on the severity of his ankle injury, and he may well be back fit by the time his contract expires in June anyway, however the EFL clause does give a bit of a safety net for players who do get injured towards the end of their respective deals.

Wednesday have a lot of players who will be out of contract come July 1st, with players such as Keiren Westwood, Adam Reach, Tom Lees and Kadeem Harris some of the bigger names on the list, and fans should find out in the coming days who will be moving on and who could stick around for League One.

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