Every club in the Premier League is bracing themselves for a contract nightmare in July.
The Premier League season has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with play not returning until it is safe to do so.
The 2019/20 campaign was initially suspended until April, with that being pushed back to May, before clubs got together to call a halt to the season completely until it was safe to resume.
A number of different plans have been drawn up, with differing accounts of when and how the season will resume, with June and July mooted for a potential return to finish off the season ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
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But one of the big talking points around that has been the fate of out-of-contract stars.
Football contracts generally run from July 1, meaning that come that day this year, many players will not be contracted to their clubs anymore.
Coronavirus and football
And leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco says clubs cannot expect to call upon those players after that date.
Speaking to Sky Sports News he said: “Legally, they cannot be forced to continue to play for the club.
“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.”
Coronavirus is having an impact across sport in Europe, with football league schedules suspended in several countries, including in England, Spain and Italy. But what happens next?
– The Champions League and Europa League have been suspended, and UEFA have released a statement on what could happen next.
– The Premier League clubs have also made a decision, with the top flight and other professional leagues suspended indefinitely.
– Premier League clubs have met again to discuss the way forward, but there…