Sunderland players could sign weekly contracts after their original release date should the current season be delayed further.
Football appears to have come to a halt within the last week with both the Premier League and EFL announcing that they would suspend all matches until the 3rd of April at the earliest. With the current situation in England set to get worse over the coming weeks and months, many questions regarding season outcomes and player contracts could rear their heads.
The Athletic have reported that FIFA and the FA are prepared to grant special dispensation for short-term rolling contracts should the season continue to be at a standstill due to the circumstances. This would ensure that loan players and those out of contract at the end of the campaign would be retained as the season would eventually come to a natural conclusion.
Sunderland could be one of the clubs to benefit from this news with the loan deals of Bristol City duo Bailey Wright and Antoine Semenyo as well as Swansea loanee Declan John set to expire on the 31st of May. Should the season be extended slightly, these players would be eligible to compete for the Black Cats beyond the release date on their current deals.
The Black Cats also have a number of players who are out on contract on the 30th of June with established first team players such as Luke O’Nien, Tom Flanagan and Chris Maguire all set to become free agents at the end of the campaign.
This news will come as a huge relief to the Phil Parkinson and the hierarchy at Sunderland as they look to end their short stay in League One. The Black Cats find themselves in seventh place at the time of writing, only outside the play-offs on goal difference. Parkinson and his men will be preparing for their next competitive game against Shrewsbury on the 4th of April, but that game could also be postponed if the EFL feel the need to extend the suspension.
Clubs across the country will breath a huge sigh of relief regarding the future of their current playing staff beyond their contract dates. There was a huge cloud over what would happen should the season have to be concluded outside of the regular dates; however, this appears to have cleared that all up.
Sunderland will benefit massively from this as their out of contract players potentially could have left halfway through the remaining games, should they take place after their current release date.
This move from FIFA and the FA would be a good one as it will allows players an equal opportunity to not only secure promotion or avoid relegation, but also to earn themselves a new deal for the start of the 2020/2021 season.