Premier League clubs to vote this Monday on plans to extend players’ contracts until end of season

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Premier League clubs will vote on Monday over extending contracts until the end of the season


Premier League clubs to vote this Monday on plans to extend players’ contracts until the end of rescheduled season in latest round of Project Restart talks

  • Premier League clubs will vote on Monday over extending players’ contracts 
  • The proposals will see deals expire the day after the rescheduled season ends 
  • Clubs will also vote on opening a mini-window to approach out of contract stars 
  • But the defining vote on resuming the season will not take place until May 18 

Premier League clubs will vote this Monday on proposals to extend players’ contracts until the day after the end of the rescheduled season when they meet to discuss Project Restart.

They will also vote on opening a mini-window in the last week of June when they are permitted to approach out of contract players to sign for next season.

The defining vote on whether to resume the season will not take place until May 18, a week on Monday, amidst continued in-fighting between the clubs, but resolving the complex issues surrounding players’ contracts would represent a significant step towards the Premier League returning next month.

Premier League clubs will vote on Monday over extending contracts until the end of the season

Players’ contracts expire on June 30, which presents a major problem for the clubs as even under the best-case scenario in which the Premier League resumes on June 12 the domestic season would carry on into August. 

As a result the Premier League have proposed a series of amendments to its rules, which will be presented to the clubs in a conference call on Monday. 

After discussing other controversial issues including neutral venues, the fixture schedule and training protocols the clubs will then vote on a number of significant changes, including:

Players’ contracts expire on June 30, which will present a major problem for top flight clubs

Players’ contracts expire on June 30, which will present a major problem for top flight clubs

  • Extending contracts due to expire on June 30 until midnight the day after the season finishes, provisionally scheduled to be the FA Cup final on 8 August, subject to agreement between individual players and their club.
  • Creating a small window between June 24 and June 30 for clubs to approach out-of-contract players who have not received or have declined an offer of a new deal from their existing club. They could then join their new club in time for the following season.
  • Suspending the strict limits that are in place for the number of Academy players clubs can have on their books in each age group, which range from 30 at younger levels to 15 in the under 21’s.

There are 171 Premier League players out of contract this summer including Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen, Willian and Pedro at Chelsea and Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser, which could lead to a frantic week of activity at the end of June with clubs scrambling for free transfers if the proposals are accepted. 

171 Premier League players are out of contract this summer including Chelsea star Willian

171 Premier League players are out of contract this summer including Chelsea star Willian

In normal circumstances out of contract players are free to talk to other clubs from the third week of May, but the Premier League want to push this period of negotiating back a month to prevent players who could still play for their existing clubs if the season resumes in June being unsettled.

Chelsea forward Willian has already been inundated with offers and is understood to be considering an offer of a three-contract contract at Arsenal. Manager Mikel Arteta has been told that he will be limited to free transfers this summer so Arsenal could be very active if the new window is agreed. 

The proposed amendments to the Premier League rules make clear that players who accepted what is termed as ‘season 2019/20 contract extensions’ cannot be offered a pay-rise, although additional insurance to protect the player could be included in the agreements. 

If the proposal is accepted clubs must inform the Premier League of 2019/20 extensions and any new contracts agreed for next season by 23 June. Any compensation fees arising from out-of-contract players aged under 24 signing for other clubs must be paid within four days of the end of the rescheduled season.

Resolving contractual difficulties was one of objections to Project Restart raised by several executives at last week’s Premier League meeting, but the clubs are expected to vote through the proposals before moving on to discuss even more contentious issues such as the plans to stage matches at neutral grounds and fixture scheduling. 

The clubs will also receive a presentation from the Premier League on the risks of Project Restart, as well other potential options.

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