01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Club v country? England manager Gareth Southgate is right, players’ careers and livelihoods must come first

Club v country? England manager Gareth Southgate is right, players’ careers and livelihoods must come first

Gareth Southgate


As a manager you have a duty of care to your players to make sure that things are done correctly. Having been a player, I’m not a manager that wants to just wheel players out until they break, so I don’t take risks with players – it’s their livelihood, it’s their career.

The above are strong and very interesting words from England football manager Gareth Southgate today when asked about an increasing number of top-line players being withdrawn from his squad to face Germany and Brazil in friendlies over the coming week.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph and Harry Winks have all been made unavailable for selection by their clubs due to ‘injury’ – leading to a big national debate over whether football clubs are putting their own priorities ahead of the national team.

I’m hearing this talk of club v country. It’s a nonsense. The players are injured and cannot play, Southgate added this morning.

If we’re in a cup final or a critical game, maybe we have a really open conversation.

With some of the players it’s 100 per cent clear. With a couple of the other lads that have been in, there’s ongoing injury issues with them. I have man-to-man discussions with them around where they’re at with it and how much risk we want to take.

As a solicitor with a specialist interest in advising sports players whose careers suffer as a result of poor medical care, or poor management of their  injuries, it is certainly interesting to hear Southgate talk about assessing ‘how much risk’ they take.

Substandard care, misdiagnosis of an injury or poor medical advice over an ongoing injury can have significant impact on future performance, leading to substantial loss of earnings or at worst the end of a career.

In sport, we know risks will be taken – players often want to play despite niggling injuries – but the medics in the game, the sports clubs and organising bodies, all have a duty to protect their health and their livelihoods – no matter at what level, and it was good to hear Southgate remind people of that this morning.

Sports clubs and bodies have a duty to protect players’ health and careers

Thankfully, there has been a much bigger focus on player welfare in recent years.

The days of serious injuries being accepted as ‘part and parcel’ of playing a physically demanding sport are long gone, and it has certainly been most welcoming to see issues such as head injuries and concussion being tackled, with stricter policies brought in across a number of sports to protect players.

Whilst we will often see debates like the one now around England, we have seen a clear move to better protect players from serious injury, especially during play.

In football, all matches now have an independent doctor – who is not subject to any commercial pressures or invested in the outcome of the game at all – in the tunnel to assist team doctors in recognising and diagnosing the signs of concussion.

If a head injury occurs and there is any confirmed or suspected loss of consciousness, a player must be removed from the field of play.

In rugby, the Head Injury Assessment protocol sees players undergo ten-minute assessment before a decision is made as to whether they are allowed to return to the field. The management of concussion is also subject to an independent review by no less than two experienced independent medical practitioners.

These are much needed for player protection and are designed to ensure the right decisions are made when and emotions are running high and in-play assessments are made.

Assessments during ongoing sporting contents are perhaps amongst the most difficult challenges of all for all those with responsibility for player welfare.

Players ‘must be looked after as human beings – not part of a team’

Maybe even more challenging than head injuries and concussions are the injuries which don’t have set policies around the treatment of them, and therefore become a judgement call for individual doctors and physios, in a snapshot of time.

With that in mind it was with great interest that I read an intriguing insight into player care in an interview with highly regarded sports doctor Eanna Falvey recently.

Falvey was head of medical for the British and Irish Lions rugby union team this summer, and was team doctor to the Irish rugby team for many years and Munster before that.Harry Kane

He was of the opinion that very few players in rugby play completely injury free at any given point, as most have slight muscle strains and tightness in joints as they play.  I think that is accepted and understood.

However, he spoke also about how physios at the top sports clubs work under extreme pressure, where decisions have to be made as to whether players can continue in a maximum of around 30 seconds.

He spoke about how it is key that they don’t become ‘emotionally invested’ in the players who they get to know so well, or the fortunes of their team.

“It can be hard. You become reasonably friendly with these players. I teach a masters in sports medicine to doctors and physios, and one of the things I teach them is that you can’t afford to be a fan,” he said.

“You can’t afford to be emotionally invested in the outcome of either the team or the player’s input on the team. You need to look after the player as a human being rather than part of the team.”

His words are powerful and reflect the huge importance of the role of medics in protecting sports players from serious injury.

One wrong decision over injuries and treatment can lead to a serious long-term injury, perhaps the premature end to a career, and quite rightly a possible compensation claim for future loss of earnings that, given the modern day salaries, could reach astronomical levels.

Players will always want to get out on the pitch and do their bit for their team – they’ll always want to play.

But if you tell them doing so could risk their long-term career, could see them pick up an injury costing them hundreds of thousands of pounds – or even millions – and have a huge impact on their lives, they may see things differently.

Medical practitioners must, at all times, withstand any commercial pressures and exercise caution to avoid being caught between the club’s interests and the best interests of the athlete.

And the decision of those medical experts – with the player’s health the only concern – must be the only opinion followed – no matter what sporting result is at stake.

The players must come first.

Read a blog from former Manchester United physio Rob Swire on Sir Alex Ferguson’s approach to player injury management

 

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Josie Robinson

Senior Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

jr@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 455 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90