Barry Bannan calls on Sheffield Wednesday to end cycle of contract uncertainty doing more harm than good

Barry Bannan has urged Sheffield Wednesday to get out of the self-destructive cycle of uncertainty that has been a feature of every spring for the last few years.

Chairman Dejphon Chansiri has got into a habit of allowing large numbers of contracts to run down each season, presumably to try and keep players hungry right until the end.

But captain Bannan argues for those – like him – who do not know where their future lies, the uncertainty can be harmful.

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Josh Windass, Dominic Iorfa, Liam Palmer, Di'Shon Bernard, Will Vaulks, Ashley Fletcher, Cameron Dawson, Lee Gregory, George Byers, Tyreeq Bakinson and Ciaran Brennan are, like Bannan, out of contract in the summer. The injured Juan Delagdo's contract status is unknown. James Beadle, Ike Ugbo, Momo Diaby, Ian Poveda, Kristian Pedersen and Jeff Hendrick are on loan.

UNCERTAINTY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry BannanUNCERTAINTY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan
UNCERTAINTY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan

Some are bound to be released, some have played important roles this season and for some it will depend on what division the Owls are in, two points from Championship safety with just six games remaining.

This time last season there were 15 players out of contract.

Bannan has been at the club for nine years and his love for it is well documented – he committed to a new deal in the spring of 2021 irrespective of the potential relegation to League One which came to pass.

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But he admits this could be his final season at Hillsborough.

"I've not heard anything," he said when asked if he had been offered a new deal. "I think it's just a case of knuckling down for these last six games and what will be, will be.

"It's not a nice situation but I think as a club going forward we need to learn from this and make sure it doesn't happen because it's happened the last few seasons now. It's not a good situation.

"We had a talk after the Huddersfield game and that was one of the topics I brought up, it was a case of not being selfish and putting the club first.

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"If you can get the club safe, your negotiating power at the end of the season, whether it be here or elsewhere is a lot stronger in the Championship than it would be as a League One players.

"But listen, we're humans and everyone thinks different. It will probably play a part.

"I think as a club we need to make sure this never happens again.”

Bannan insists the uncertain will be a motivation rather than a distraction for him but he knows not everyone will be the same.

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"That's probably at the back of my head at the minute, I'm focused on wining games," he said.

"If this is the season when my Sheffield Wednesday career ends I want it to be a big season for me, a season I'll look back on and be proud of.

"I know fighting relegation's not something to be proud of but it will still be an achievement considering how the season started (bottom, with seven points from 18 games at the end of November).

"This could be my last six games at this club so I want to give it my all and give the fans something to cheer at the end of the season.

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"Luckily (for me) I'm coming towards the end of my career so what will be will be for me, I'll just be fighting to keep this club in the league.

"But there's young people in there who have got a good few years left in them and not knowing where they're going to be with their families and kids at school, it's hard for them."If people's futures were clearer it's a lot easier for them but you've got to put the club first.

"At this minute in time this club's paying your wages, so you need to fight for the club and what will be, will be."

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