Out-of-contract Preston North End stars SHOULD be able to play until season’s end

A later finish to the season is unlikely to be complicated by players being out of contract according to Preston North End advisor Peter Ridsdale.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:00 am

The 2019/20 campaign will run much later because of its current suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It could go to the end of June and beyond when contracts run out.

However, clubs have always continue to pay released players until the end of July if they have not found a new club. So in theory that should cover the situation as things stand.

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Preston club captain Tom Clarke is out of contract in the summer

Ridsdale, who is advisor to North End owner Trevor Hemmings, told the Lancashire Post: “Contracts run until June 30.

“However, clubs are legally entitled to pay players until the end of July so that could cover this issue. So you could sort some kind of short-term agreement to play into July if needed.”

Declan Rudd, Tom Clarke and Paul Gallagher are three of the players in the first-team squad who, as things stand, will be out of contract this summer.

When the season gets going again is not yet known, with the world needing to get beyond the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

The postponement by UEFA of Euro 2020 until next year has cleared the decks for domestic football to go into the summer in order for seasons to be played to a finish.

In a statement, UEFA said they want seasons to be finished by June 30 ‘should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough’.

There is a determination to complete the season within the game,

North End were reported to have had a ‘secret meeting’ with the other clubs in the Championship top six about a proper conclusion.

Said Ridsdale: “It wasn’t secret, more a case of clubs just talking to each other.

“The strong opinion of everyone you talk to is that the season has to finish.

“When that will be, we don’t know yet.”

The EFL board is due to meet today to discuss the matter – the board made up of six representative clubs from the three divisions.

There is a meeting later in the week of Premier League clubs and things might be a bit clearer after that.

Advice will need to be taken from the Government on scientific and health matters before plans are made.

Matches are suspended at the moment until the first weekend in April but a return then looks very unlikely.

PNE’s players trained at Springfields as normal yesterday and on Monday.

The squad are being monitored closely by the medical and fitness staff.