EFL clubs risk row as they will ask out-of-contract players to stay on to finish coronavirus-hit season – The Sun

EFL clubs will ask out-of-contract players to stay on for the extended season — but risk a row.

The plan to finish the EFL season in a blitz of games from early June means matches will definitely run into July. Yet more than 1,000 players will see their contracts expire on June 30.

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 Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace fears it may not be possible to resume action as many players might decline to play beyond their contracts

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Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace fears it may not be possible to resume action as many players might decline to play beyond their contractsCredit: PA:Press Association
 The EFL face a dilemma over players' contracts but the PFA says clubs must renew the deals of ALL of them for the integrity of the game

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The EFL face a dilemma over players’ contracts but the PFA says clubs must renew the deals of ALL of them for the integrity of the gameCredit: PA:Press Association

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace has made the stunning revelation that his club will have only TWO contracted players from July 1.

And fellow League Two side Colchester have already decided not to re-sign out-of-contract players unless there is a “dramatic change of circumstances”.

A secret document revealed the EFL believe the usual month’s ‘severance payment’ for such players will now be considered as wages and they will be expected to turn out for no extra money.

But a players union expert said: “Contracts would have to be extended for them to be registered to play.”

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There is already a row over clubs being able to choose which out-of-contract players to keep.

The PFA believe ALL should be, saying: “If the season is extended, clubs have to extend contracts to preserve the integrity of the game.

“If not, you would have some clubs releasing many players and fielding weak teams.”

Wallace has questioned how the EFL can finish the season if players will not play.

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He added: “We’d love to finish the season if we are able to in a safe manner. How we do that is beyond me.

“On July 1, Stevenage have two contracted players. What is supposed to happen then?

“You’ll have some people say, ‘Surely they will play in July?’. No, they won’t.

“Why would they risk their careers if they are not on contract?”

He added: “We keep talking about games behind closed doors but if social distancing is in place and it’s unsafe to put people in a stadium, how is it safe to have a contact sport?

“Every club has players with asthma, players’ wives with asthma, pregnant partners, some live with their mum and dad.

“If you are going to put people in a contact sport you have to know no one has got coronavirus.”

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