Albert Adomah is set to return to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday as a furious Neil Harris condemned the EFL’s ‘disgraceful’ handling of extending loan players’ contracts and called his play-off rivals’ integrity into question.
Adomah signed for the Bluebirds on deadline day in January for what he thought was the remainder of the season, penning a contract until June 30.
But, owing to the outbreak of coronavirus, the season has been extended, with the play-off final now pencilled in for August 4, meaning hundreds of player contracts up and down the country were thrown into disarray.
And Harris believes the EFL should have taken greater leadership of the situation
“Albert’s last game for us will be tomorrow, unless something changes,” Harris said.
“I spoke to Nottingham Forrest myself to understand their thinking and took their reasons on board. Ultimately, they want to be promoted. I understand their club perspective, but I can’t understand at all how the EFL have got themselves into this situation and let it develop.
“It is a complete lack of leadership and ownership, a complete lack of guidance from them. It is a disgrace. I couldn’t be more fuming with anybody as I am with the EFL at the moment.”
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On Sunday night Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi hinted that the club would exercise their right to recall the player this week following the end of his loan terms.
It will be a blow for Harris, who is clearly a big admirer of Admoah, having selected him in every game other than the two for which he was not available – the FA Cup tie with Reading and the clash against his parent club.
But the manager believes the feeling is reciprocal, claiming the winger wants to stay in the Welsh capital until the end of the season.
“I understand their reasoning behind the scenes,” Harris added.
“Contractually he is their player. As a club we can do no more than ask the questions. The player wants to stay and we want him to stay. Forest aren’t breaking any rules by not letting him stay. It isn’t the only instance where there are two clubs involved in this type of discussion. I know there is one between Hull and Barnsley.
“It would have been completely acceptable if the EFL had taken ownership of the situation and made it compulsory for players to stay, or certainly leaving the decision to the player and the loan club. In my opinion, that’s the way it should have been.
“The EFL need to come out and give us some answers.”
The EFL meet for a key board meeting this Wednesday and Harris wants an explanation to emerge from it.
He believes the governing body should have taken the decision out of the hands of both clubs and made a blanket call for all the players in a similar situation.
“I’ve given up on the EFL,” he added. “Would I be hopeful for Albert staying? Of course I would – I love working with him and he has done really well for us.
“I wouldn’t have liked to have been put in the same position as Forest. I would have wanted clarity from the governing body and for the EFL to have made the decision for me. Forest are in a tricky position.
“My only thought on Forest is that they signed a loan agreement with us to take it to the end of the season after the play-offs. The integrity of that is my only question. That’s all they have to answer.”
Adomah is available for Tuesday night’s clash with Charlton but then, barring a u-turn from the Nottingham club, it looks as though he will head back to the City Ground the following day.
Brad Smith has already agreed to stay on until the end of the campaign, while it is understood Dion Sanderson will also remain with the Bluebirds.