Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin believes shift in player mood big factor in likely season cancellation

Mark Catlin believes there’s no longer the desire among EFL players to complete the football season.

Friday, 8th May 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 5:29 pm

And the Pompey chief executive admitted he can empathise with those footballers who don’t want to risk a return to complete the current campaign.

Despite Pompey’s players being in support of a continuing, Catlin feels many of their peers taking a contrary position is understandable.

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He said: ‘Player contracts across the board for those out of contract will end on June 30.

‘There’s a standard one-month’s severance in that, but there’s no obligation for the players to play.

‘It would be down to players’ goodwill, but I think it will be difficult.

‘That’s not so much the case at Portsmouth because I think we have a great relationship with our players.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

‘The early indications is our players would play out of contract, but you can understand at other clubs, and even at our club, why they wouldn’t do that.

‘If they haven’t got a new deal why would they risk injury which would prevent them getting a new contract elsewhere?

‘Even for me it would be difficult to ask players to play that month. If they got injured where would we morally stand? That’s a difficult one.’

Catlin added that the impact of the coronavirus crisis would make it hard to keep on out-of-contract players who’ve picked up injuries, as Pompey have done in the past.

He added: ‘Traditionally we’ve kept players on who have been injured at the end of their contracts to nurse them back to health.

‘But given the current economic climate and the cost of pro contracts with different defined dates to, say, youth-team contracts, it would be very difficult to keep a player on.

‘It’s just a very difficult decision all round.’