Charlton boss Lee Bowyer: Contract headache has not even been properly discussed yet

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer reckons that domestic football is facing a major contractual headache if the season is not finished by the end of June.

Player contracts expire on July 1, when the transfer window opens.

But there are major doubts over when the Premier League and EFL will resume – let alone finish – their campaigns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlton manager Bowyer says that presents an issue, especially as their Championship squad is bolstered by six loan signings who are due to head back to their parent clubs at the end of June.

Andre Green, Aiden McGeady, Matt Smith, Josh Cullen, David Davis and Sam Field are all temporary additions to the Addicks squad.

Charlton also have key players like Lyle Taylor and Naby Sarr who are in the final three months of their terms.

Charlton Athletic’s Lyle Taylor

Bowyer said: “This is a problem no-one seems to be talking about – nobody has even mentioned the contract situation.

“But someone did say that UEFA said if we haven’t started by the end of June then they’d probably look to cancel all football – make it null and void.

“Regarding us we have got something like 14 or 15 players out of contract [at the end of June] – including six loans.

“Even if they say that you can extend those by a month then a lot of clubs are going to run out of money. If a club runs out of money and can only pay half or less than that, then players ain’t going to play.

Charlton Athletic’s Josh Cullen and Huddersfield Town’s Emile Smith Rowe battle for the ball

“I can’t see how you get around this. It’s not going to be one or two clubs – it’s going to be up and down the country, apart from the Premier League.

“All the other clubs are going to find it difficult. You’re going to have players out of contract who are only getting a fraction of their wage. I can’t see how you’re going to get around that once you get to the end of June.

“If a club ain’t got the money to pay their own players and they are not paying loan players then their clubs can say: ‘You ain’t paid us two months money – we’re taking him back’.

“It’s going to be really complicated.”


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