A world without sports sure is a dull one, but in the case of soccer, the delayed seasons might cause a lot of headaches. Since most of the soccer world’s seasons will be resuming sometime this summer (possibly in June), the issue of expiring contracts will make for a difficult situation.
According to ESPN and other sources, about 20% of European soccer players will see their contracts expire on June 30th. Traditionally, the summer transfer window opens on July 1st, which is why contracts end on the day before. However, given the extraordinary circumstances, how will teams deal with these expirations?
Also, important to remember is that loan contracts typically end on the same day (there are always exceptions, but they’re few and far between). Loanees can be key contributors to team efforts, like Martin Odegaard on loan at Real Sociedad from Real Madrid or Achraf Hakimi on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid. What happens if their contracts expire before their teams’ seasons are over?
There are discussions underway between UEFA, clubs and FIFA to address this issue, and what might happen. I think that they’d likely institute some kind of “extraordinary circumstance” clause into contracts to ensure that there aren’t drastic changes once leagues start up again to finish their seasons. I’d honestly expect this to be the case across all sports, in fact.
There has not been an instance where every European soccer league has been suspended since World War II. With that in mind, there needs to be some special action undertaken in order to address this situation. That said, whatever happens at the end of all of this, it will change the face of soccer forever.