Monday, March 30, 2020

Player contracts in football: virus-related extension

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AOn 30 June, talented soccer goalkeeper Alexander Nübel joined FC Schalke 04, and no one can blame him for longing for that day after all the abuse he had experienced for his planned move to Bayern Munich. But what if the Bundesliga season is extended beyond June 30 due to the current mandatory break to combat coronavirus? Then, contrary to their contractual situation, players like Nübel should stay with their current club until the end of the season, Fifa recommends.

This emerges from an eleven-page Fifa working paper declared confidential, which is available in this newspaper. Fifa has not yet publicly commented on how professional clubs should deal with the legal problems that an extension of the season beyond June 30 would bring. June 30th is such a drastic date because player contracts in the major football leagues generally end on this key date. If, for example, the Bundesliga season were extended until July 15 in the current exceptional situation, a relegation-threatening club could theoretically oblige several professionals from July 1 for the final two final match days, whose contract with the competition expired on June 30. Or a club stopped paying the professionals whose contract had expired on July 1, despite the ongoing season.

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