Out-of-contract players can walk away from their respective clubs from June 30, even though FIFA are extending the deals until the season ends, according to a leading sports lawyer.
With the coronavirus pandemic suspending all football, the season is likely to be extended meaning that players who are out of contract at the end of the normal campaign, will have the chance to complete the season at their clubs still.
However, according to leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC, they cannot legally be forced to continue playing for the club beyond the expiry date of their contract.
Premier League players such as Olivier Giroud, Willian, Pedro, Adam Lallana, Jan Vertonghen, David Silva, Ryan Fraser and many more, are all out of contract from June 30.
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De Marco has insisted if the player chooses to walk away from the club then that is completely their decision.
“Legally, they cannot be forced to continue to play for the club,” De Marco said to Sky Sports News.
“Nobody can force them to do so; FIFA, the FA, the club or anybody else. If they want to walk away, that’s a matter for them but it will really be a matter of whether, financially, that makes sense for them.
“What you’re most likely to see as a preferred option is probably very short-term extensions of contracts based on existing salary terms. That won’t suit everyone, and it can’t be forced on anyone in England.
“For example, if you’re a player coming towards the end of your contract and, perhaps, the end of your career, maybe you only have one more contract left, you may be very reluctant to sign a contract for only a few weeks or an indeterminate period of time.
“If you’re a lower league club, financially stressed, you won’t be wanting to pay players beyond June 30. So, a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t…