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‘Not everyone WOULD sign an extension’: leading sports lawyer explains the situation with future free agents. 

Leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC says neither FIFA nor FA have enough power to demand the players, who will be out of contracts, sign extensions. 

After the coronavirus pandemic FIFA have created a special group in order to regulate the cases of future free agents or players that will see their loan agreements finished in May or June. 

Besides the special group, the football association have announced their intentions to extend the transfer window, so that the clubs could finish the season with their current squads. 

De Marco QC, however, says that for each player there will be a unique case, as not the clubs, but the footballers will decide whether to sign extensions or not. 

He told Sky Sports (via Birmingham Mail): “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.

“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.

“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 going to work. It’s going to depend on each case. The key is going to be agreements.

“If the players are out of contract then, so far as the law is concerned, they’re no longer employees and they’re free to walk away.

“The real issue is, ‘Do the players walk away or not?’. That will depend on the circumstances of each case.

“If the transfer window is closed, they may walk away and not be able to find another club. Now they may have a legal claim in those circumstances, or they may just have to wait two or three months. They might prefer that, to signing a contract that stops them making the next move. What individual players will do will depend on each player and each club.” he added.

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