What Will Happen To The Premier League Players Who Are Out Of Contract On June 30?

Amid all of the
uncertainty provided by the suspension of Premier League football -and
other domestic leagues around Europe – owing to coronavirus is the
potentially chaotic situation concerning players whose contracts are set
to expire on June 30.

What Will Happen To The Premier League Players Who Are Out Of Contract On June 30? 1

Some
high-profile stars, including Chelsea winger Willian and on-loan
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo, are among those who are nearing
the end of their deals.

The emerging issue is viewed as an emergency by FIFA, with the situation looking increasingly very messy.

Would
such players still be able to play for their current clubs if fixtures
due to be played this season were moved to the summer, after the
contract expiry date? Sportsmail answers the key questions.

Which players are out of contract on June 30?

Each
Premier League club has at least one player whose current contract is
set to expire on the final day of June, with loan deals also expiring on
that date.

Chelsea attackers Willian, Pedro and Olivier
Giroud all fall into that category along with Tottenham defender Jan
Vertonghen and Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Manchester City midfielder David Silva and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana are also nearing the end of their contracts.

What Will Happen To The Premier League Players Who Are Out Of Contract On June 30? 2

Which clubs would be most affected by possibly losing players?

Chelsea
could be deprived of an entire attacking triumvirate – Willian, Olivier
Giroud and Pedro – all of whom started their most recent game against
Everton.

But Willian insisted on Thursday that he would be
happy to help Chelsea out and keep playing due to the loyalty he feels
for the club. ‘My contract really ends I think in July,’ he told
Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo.

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‘And if I had to
play on those dates, in these months, I think it would be no problem for
me to end the league in a way which would be loyal to the club, as they
always were with me. Regardless of a signed paper.

‘But it’s clear that this is not a certainty, we don’t know what can happen.

‘But without a doubt, as always, I will always be ready to give the best to my club regardless of my contract situation.’

The
expiry of goalkeeper Dean Henderson’s loan deal from Manchester United
would also hit Sheffield United hard if they weren’t able to bring in a
replacement. Henderson is one of 11 players set to leave the club as it
stands on June 30, the highest number of any club, along with Newcastle.
Both clubs have four players in on loan.

Bournemouth have eight players due to be out of contract, including winger Ryan Fraser.

When will Premier League games resume?

At
present there will be no games until April 4, but there is a
possibility that the suspension could go on for longer, with the peak of
diagnosed coronavirus cases not expected to be until June, according to
the British government.

The Premier League are holding a meeting on Thursday to discuss how to deal with the situation.

The
postponement by a year of Euro 2020, confirmed by UEFA on Tuesday after
a series of video conferences, could provide the opportunity for
Premier League games to be played during the summer, enabling the
current campaign to reach its conclusion before a new season starts as
close to its usual August date as possible.

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What Will Happen To The Premier League Players Who Are Out Of Contract On June 30? 3

Would players whose contracts are up be able to play in those summer games?

After June 30, those players who are out of contract would no longer be obliged to play for their clubs.

Udo
Onwere, partner and head of sport at law firm Bray and Krais
Solicitors, who has dealt with numerous Premier League player contracts,
told Sportsmail: ‘Clubs will try to be creative but once June 30 hits
the player no longer has any obligation to perform – that’s bottom line.
The player has all the power in this scenario.’

One silver
lining is that players who are in on loan, such as Manchester United
striker Ighalo, could have their short-term deals renewed with relative
ease, if all parties are willing. But there could be complications over
loan rules, with the number of loan signings each club can make per
season limited by the Premier League.

Is there a way to get around the situation?

Clubs may look to use the current period where no games are being played to negotiate contracts, perhaps via video link.

There
is, however, a possibility that in the summer players could sign
short-term deals, potentially on a week-by-week basis, that would enable
them to complete the season at their current clubs.

That,
though, could impact potential transfer deals and other clubs will be
looking to snap up some of the more high-profile free agents as quickly
as possible.

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In addition, there is a risk that players could
get injured while playing in such games, which could jeopardise
imminent transfers.

What Will Happen To The Premier League Players Who Are Out Of Contract On June 30? 4

Agents may be reluctant for players to sign short-term deals, especially if they don’t benefit the player financially.

One
leading agent told Sportsmail: ‘Why would I advise my player to agree
to see out the season when he could get injured in that time and stop
him signing for another club?

‘The only way we would go for that was if the contract was lucrative enough to take that risk.’

It
appears, then, that declaring the season null and void and starting
afresh next campaign could be the best solution as far as players out of
contract are concerned, but that would of course cause anger at some
clubs, especially runaway leaders Liverpool, who are on the brink of
being crowned champions after utterly dominating the season.

Can’t football’s authorities clear up the mess?

FIFA
have confirmed emergency talks aimed at find agreement between
affiliated leagues and clubs which would ensure players can complete the
season with their current teams in the event of it extending into July.

Significantly,
world players’ union FifPro are also now stepping in to resolve the
looming problem of players contracts expiring before the end of the
season.

But whether these talks are successful remains to be
seen, with the coronavirus crisis escalating day by day and bringing
further problems for all parties.