How Coronavirus Suspension Will Affect Transfers And Contracts
The suspension of the football season could prove extremely problematic when it comes to transfers and contracts.
On Friday morning, following an emergency meeting, it was confirmed that the Premier League and EFL have suspended all games until April 4 amidst the spread of Coronavirus.
The postponement includes all matches in all four professional leagues, as well as all academy and youth-team fixtures.
The decision follows on from Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga postponing their respective leagues due to the mass outbreak.
If the league resumes in the summer, it throws a huge spanner in the works - with a number of agents telling football.london that the player contract situation will be a "nightmare".
If the delayed campaign is still going on by the time July rolls around, any players out of contract this summer (June 30) would be unable to play unless they put pen to paper on a new deal.
The likes of Willian, David Silva, Jan Vertonghen, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Adam Lallana are just some of the high-profile Premier League players out of contract on June 30.
"From a straight contractual perspective, away from loans, if a player's contract expires on 30th June, I can't see anything being enforceable to make him stay beyond that," a representative told football.london when asked for comment on the matter.
"I can't see that anything could legally override players from saying 'I'm not staying beyond 30th June.' Or clubs from saying, 'We don't want this guy after 30th June.'"
It's said pre-contract agreements and transfers already agreed would go through as normal on July 1, so we could feasibly have a scenario when Hakim Ziyech turns out for Chelsea in the Premier League earlier than expected after his €40 million move from Ajax.
It may well be that loanees such as Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo are able to sign an extension waiver that allows them to see out the delayed season.
The situation is to be reviewed again next month, but there's been reports of calls from two of the 20 clubs to cancel the Premier League season completely and render it "null and void".