Premier League and EFL clubs are negotiating ‘covid clauses’ in player contracts in the event that the coronavirus pandemic is prolonged or worsens further.
It was hoped last summer amid falling cases and deaths that 2021 might offer a return to normality, but the winter spike of the virus is proving even worse than the initial peak last spring.
Professional football, which was halted for three months between March and June last year, is feeling the effects where it didn’t before. As many as five Premier League games have been postponed in recent weeks because of outbreaks within clubs.
That is putting even more strain on an already heavily congested fixture list and there have been increasing calls to bring a second consecutive season to a pause.
Clubs are taking measures to protect themselves in the event of further problems, with Sky Sports reporting that ‘covid clauses’ are starting to appear in negotiations and player contracts.
That means the power to cancel loan deals and potentially recoup any fees invested should the season be interrupted by further coronavirus measures and restrictions.
What that brings, however, is more complicated negotiations between clubs as both sides try and find an agreeable solution where neither is given a raw deal.
When it comes to existing players, clubs are also believed to be adding small print to new contracts regarding pay cuts if games are still being played behind closed doors into next season.
Only a handful of clubs have briefly been able to have even a small number of fans attend games for the last 10 months and the loss of matchday revenue has been a significant blow at every level, especially further down the EFL ladder where commercial and broadcasting revenue is small.