“No one can” – Laywer sends warning to West Brom and Leeds United

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West Bromwich Albion players who are out of contract can ignore FIFA’s offers and become free agents in June, a leading sports lawyer has warned.

FIFA announced earlier this week that the expiration dates of the player agreements should be extended.

Championship games are suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic with Albion still having nine games to play, all of which are crucial with Slaven Bilic’s men being promoted to Leeds United.

There are 10 players who will not be under contract – Jonathan Bond, Chris Brunt, Ali Al-Habsi, Gareth Barry, Kyle Edwards [one-year option], Nathan Ferguson, Jack Fitzwater, Kane Wilson, Alex Palmer, Lee Peltier will see all their offers expire on June 30.

Loan agreements for Matheus Pereira [obligation to buy], Filip Krovinovic, Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson run until the end of May.

FIFA has proposed that the contracts be “extended until the season is really over”, but Nick De Marco QC says players can withdraw as the recommendation cannot be implemented under English law. ’employment.

“Legally, they cannot be forced to continue playing for the club,” De Marco Sports, who has represented sports governing bodies, players, clubs and agents since 2002, told Sky Sports.

“No one can force them to do it; FIFA, the FA, the club, or anyone else. If they want to leave, it’s their business, but it will really be a question of whether, financially, it makes sense to them. “

“What you are most likely to see as a preferred option is probably very short term contract extensions based on existing salary conditions. It will not suit everyone, and it cannot be imposed on anyone in England.

“For example, if you are a player arriving towards the end of your contract and, perhaps, the end of your career, perhaps you have only one contract left, you may be very reluctant to sign a contract for only a few weeks or an indefinite period of time.

“If you are a financially stressed lower league club, you will not want to pay players after June 30. So a single solution will not work. It will depend on each. The key will be the agreements. ”

He added: “If the players are out of contract then, as far as the law is concerned, they are no longer employees and they are free to leave.

“The real problem is:” Are the players leaving or not? “. It will depend on the circumstances of each case.

“If the transfer window is closed, they may move away and be unable to find another club. Now they may have a legal claim under these circumstances, or they may just have to wait two or three months. sign a contract that prevents them from making the next move. What individual players do will depend on each player and each club. ”

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