Rodolph Austin: Work permit issue ends Sheffield Wednesday move

Rodolph Austin
Rodolph Austin (left) helped Jamaica to the final of this year's Gold Cup

Sheffield Wednesday's hopes of signing former Leeds United midfielder Rodolph Austin are over because he will not be granted a work permit.

The Jamaica international, 30, was released by Leeds this summer after 101 league appearances in three seasons.

Under new Football Association rules, a non-European Union player must represent a country in Fifa's top 50 rankings over the previous two years.

Jamaica were ranked at an average of 82 over that period.

Austin's agent Darryl Powell told BBC Radio Sheffield: "The first indication that anything was wrong was when Rodolph got off the plane at Heathrow on Tuesday morning.

"We were coming through the terminal and I got a call from Sheffield Wednesday to say he definitely wouldn't be getting a work permit.

"It's been very traumatic for Rodolph. The whole transfer saga has been going on since February/March time for him.

"He's devastated. This has changed his whole life."

The player could appeal against the likely decision by asking that an exceptions panel consider his "experience and value" but Powell believes it is unlikely that he will be successful.

Austin, whose son was born in England, recently helped Jamaica to the final of the Gold Cup, where they lost to Mexico on Sunday.

Powell, who played for Portsmouth and Derby County during his own career, said Austin was now looking at potential moves to Scandinavia or the United States.

"We're speaking to clubs but this is the place he wants to be," Powell added. "This is the country that he wants to be in and has been living in for the last three years."

The FA has been contacted for a response.