Jamaica Reggae Boyz captain Rodolph Austin must have been on ‘cloud 9’ after hearing news that his agent (former Reggae Boyz) Daryl Powell, had secured a sweet deal with English team, Sheffield Wednesday. The deal would make Rodolph one of, if not the highest paid player for the club. We have no idea of the figure, but bear in mind that Rodolph turned down a £500,000 deal from Wigan Athletic in January.
Think about how he felt after that, when he found out that his work permit had been rejected, his deal with Sheffield Wednesday had vanished like smoke and he would have to leave the UK.
The fact that Austin has been playing in England with Leeds United since 2012 makes no difference. Austin made 112 appearances during his time at Leeds scoring 10 goals. His 2-year old son was born in the UK and Austin was only 2 years away from being eligible for naturalized status.
The back breaker is a new FA rule that says the ranking of a player’s country must be in the top 50 over the past 2 years. That makes Austin ineligible, as Jamaica was ranked 76 in the last ranking.
Austin and Jamaica have had one of their greatest achievements to date, having reached the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, where they lost 3-1 to Mexico. On their way t the final, they defeated Canada, El Salvador, Haiti and the United States. The team will definitely improve in ranking, but it is unlikely to reach inside the Top 50.
The Clarendon born midfielder will now have to look elsewhere for work this season, possibly US or Turkey. However, a petition has been launched for Austin online. The petition is ‘To Grant Rodolph Austin A Work Permit To Play In The English League.’ You may may make your voice heard and add to his petition if you sign the Rodolph Austin petition on this page.