How Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday could sign players on short-term deals if season is prolonged

Special Fifa dispensation could allow clubs to sign players on week-by-week contracts

Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:17 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:18 pm

What happens next with football in England is currently unclear as football organisations try to work out how to proceed after the coronavirus outbreak forced the postponement of the league season.

Both the Premier League and Football League have postponed action until 3 April, but there are doubts it will return by then due to the severity of the virus.

The FL released a statement on Monday asking for “cool heads” and stating it feels “inappropriate to respond to the many hypothetical solutions being suggested whilst the many unknowns remain”.

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Sheffield United face Sheffield Wednesday in the Steel City derby: Simon Bellis/Sportimage Copyright: JPIMedia

However, if the season returns to be completed, the FA and Fifa could grant special dispensation on contracts, according to The Athletic, if the remainder of the campaign runs into July.

It would allow clubs to offer short-term rolling deals for players out of contract on June 30.

This would be a significant move for both United and Wednesday. The Blades are five points off a Champions League spot with a game in hand, while the Owls are 15th in the Championship table, nine points ahead of the relegation places.

Both have a number of players whose contract expires at the end of June.

John Lundstram, Jack Rodwell and Phil Jagielka are just some of the players out of contract at Bramall Lane. Across the city there are a raft of expiring deals, namely Morgan Fox, Steven Fletcher and Fernando Forestieri.

Not just that, but they could pluck players from rivals to aid their league ambitions.

An issue could rise whereby agents look to take advantage of the situation and secure their clients “lucrative bonuses”.

A source told The Athletic: “You can guarantee agents will demand lucrative bonuses for themselves and their player if he is seen as crucial to club’s success for that immediate goal.”

It is unclear how it would impact loan players.