Expiring football players’ contracts extended beyond 30 June by FIFA

Published on: April 8, 2020
Author: Jamie Clark
Football contracts and the summer transfer window changed by FIFA

Football contracts that were due to expire on 30 June have been extended after a meeting of world governing body FIFA.

Many players’ deals were ending this summer, but now do not run out until the season is completed.

Despite football contracts using the designated date of 30 June, any out of contract player must remain with their current club.

This even applies to players on loan at or who have signed pre-contract agreements with other teams.

Proposals were put before FIFA’s Bureau of Council and agreed, so footballers will remain attached to their existing sides.

There is also a knock on effect for the summer transfer window in Europe, so this will be moved to fall between seasons.

"The current season will not end when people thought it would," a FIFA statement read. "It is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season actually does end.

"A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts. FIFA will be flexible and allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved."

This has been done with the clear aim of stopping players from leaving before the delayed 2019-20 campaign is completed.

By moving the summer transfer window as well, it prevents the scenario of players leaving when their football contracts expire on 30 June without their club having means to replace them.

All major European league and UEFA competitions – the Champions League and Europa League – remain suspended at the time of writing.

There is no timeline for continental competition to resume. The possibility of the Champions League and Europa League being abandoned is very real, however.

Football contracts to reflect revised season in Europe

Expiring football players' contracts extended beyond 30 June by FIFA

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has previously talked of his hope to get the 2019-20 season completed by August.

He also raised the possibility of playing domestic and European matches behind closed doors. Social distancing and travel remain major issues for sport in general at this difficult time.

A common sense approach to football contracts is useful. It eases the worries of clubs throughout the pyramid at a time when furloughing non-playing staff is an option.

FIFA and UEFA rules state a player cannot register for a new team outside of transfer windows unless they are a free agent.

The proposals ensure that those whose football contracts expire on 30 June won’t be regarded as such thereafter.

For example, although Liverpool announced midfielder Adam Lallana will leave Anfield when his deal ends, that is no longer treated as that date.

He stays with the runaway Premier League leaders until the season finishes. It means a number of footballers remain with their current clubs past 30 June.

Most Premier League teams have nine games of the season left. The FA Cup is at the quarter-finals stage and those ties cannot go to replays.

Only half of the Champions League last 16 fixtures are complete meanwhile. Second legs involving Chelsea and Manchester City must finish before the quarter-finals draw and ties can take place.

The situation is even more complicated in the Europa League. Only six of the last 16 first leg matches happened before a halt to European football.

Ties involving Spanish and Italian clubs – two of the countries most effected by the current situation – haven’t even started.

British trio Glasgow Rangers, Manchester United and Wolves remain in the Europa League.