A verdict is expected on Tuesday in a landmark case that could open the door for more footballers to claim damages if they are injured while playing.
A match between Ossett Town and Radcliffe Borough in the Northern Premier League had to be abandoned in April 2015 after Reece Welsh suffered a badly broken ankle following a tackle from Ossett’s Sam Akeroyd.
The injury kept Welsh out for 13 months, and he’s suing Akeroyd’s employers at the time Ossett Town for loss of earnings.
While it’s not unheard of for players to take legal action against opponents following serious injury, they are rarely successful.
A court in Manchester will rule on Welsh’s claim that he should be compensated after being the victim of a serious foul.
The former Radcliffe Borough defender is demanding £150,000 in damages.
While defence costs are covered by Ossett Town’s league insurance, any payout would not be covered – and the verdict could also have a potentially devastating impact on clubs at that level.
Ossett Town exist in name only as they merged with Ossett Albion last year to form Ossett United, but the company does still own the Ingfield ground where the injury took place.
A ruling in favour of Mr Welsh would likely mean that they would have to sell the stadium to developers, and also leave other semi-professional clubs open to similar legal proceedings.
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