Portsmouth CEO Mark Catlin calls for blanket extension to deal with player contract conundrum

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Mark Catlin has called for a blanket extension of players’ contacts when they come to a close on June 30.

The Pompey chief executive believes extending the deals of all players who have agreed terms at present is the only fair solution to playing on through the summer - if the coronavirus crisis abates.

Football is battling to come up with the solutions to the multitude of issues created by the suspension of the season, following the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Meetings are taking place between the game’s governing bodies on an ongoing basis, including the Premier League, EFL and FA, as well as the Professional Footballers’ Association.

There’s a desire from within the game to see the current campaign through to a conclusion, which would avoid the Premier League and EFL being hit with massive penalty clauses by TV companies.

That could conceivably mean playing games across the summer if the leagues are given the green light to resume.

One of the major issues in that scenario would be players’ contracts coming to a close on June 30, as currently is the case.

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There’s some debate over how an extension could be implemented, but Catlin is clear it shouldn’t be a selective process for clubs.

Mark CatlinMark Catlin
Mark Catlin | JPIMedia

Catlin said: ‘One of the biggest issues financially for clubs will be extending players’ contracts beyond the end of June to accommodate this season.

‘I think any suggestions which have been out there by the Premier League, EFL, FA or PFA suggests you will not be able to pick and choose the players.

‘I think it will be an all or nothing situation where you have to mandatorily extend those players, otherwise you’re going to end up with a mish-mash.

‘I’m defending the players here.

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‘I wouldn’t personally want a situation where you’re going to x player and saying you’re going to extend their contract, but to y player who’s not been very good we’re going to release them.

‘Because of the window that would put them in a position where they can’t sign for anyone else.

‘It’s not that I’m favour of it really, but it’s the least worst decision.’

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