The dilemma Chesterfield will face if the National League season is extended beyond April

The Spireites will face a dilemma over the four players they have on loan if the National League season runs beyond the end of April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

By Liam Norcliffe
Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 10:51 am

Goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons, defender Matt Tootle and striker Nathan Tyson are all on loan from Notts County while wing-back Jordan Cropper came from Burnley.

The deals for Fitzsimons and Cropper finish at the end of April while the loans for Tyson and Tootle run until the end of May.

Fitzsimons has made one appearance since joining in February while Tootle has been injured since December. Cropper has made eight consecutive starts and Tyson has made five starts, scoring three goals.

The National League season is due to end on April 25 but it is currently suspended until at least April 3 because of the pandemic and is likely to be postponed further.

The FA and National League are due to hold talks on Tuesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of the season.

If the National League season goes beyond April and May then Chesterfield will have to have talks with Notts County and Burnley and the players themselves about extending the loan deals.

Boss John Pemberton will be keen to keep Fitzsimons, Cropper and Tyson but may decide to let Tootle go back due to his injury problems.

Chesterfield caretaker manager John Pemberton.

The contracts of non loan players run until June 30 which again throws up another dilemma if the season was to run well into the summer months.

Chesterfield company secretary, Ashley Carson, said: “This would be a nightmare situation as the loan players' contracts expire the end of April and some the end of May. We currently only have nine players in contract to the end of 2020/21 season. Those out of contract, unless renewed, all finish at the end of June.”

Legal firm Brabners said that if matches are cancelled and / or rearranged taking the season past June 30, then clubs face a real dilemma of having players out of contract during the season.

“If they aren’t already doing so, clubs should be considering the contracts of any key players and identifying any of those which expire on 30 June 2020,” they told FC Business.