Ryan Fraser could leave Bournemouth on a free transfer
Pre-contracts: Good idea?
“One possible solution that’s been suggested is allowing players to sign pre-contrac ts, “says De Marco. “So, if a club wants to keep a player, but the player doesn’t really want to sign a two-month contract because they’ve got an offer of three years somewhere else, they can sign the three years somewhere else, but it starts in two months’ time.
“The problem with that is you have all sorts of integrity issues. There is no easy solution. I don’t think we will really know what the solution is until we’re closer to knowing when, and how, the season can resume. “
Coronavirus: A ‘depressed’ market
“I think the most important thing we will see is the global economic crisis and, in particular, the squeeze on football finances means that it’s going to be a very depressed football market,” says De Marco. “Not just in terms of transfer fees but, also, you’d expect that to have a knock-on effect on players’ wages. That’s probably the largest effect you will see.
“You will have also some clubs who can afford to go out there and buy and will be able to do so on much more favorable terms, and you will have other clubs who will be, perhaps, forced to sell at under value. What that will most likely do is increase the difference between the wealthiest clubs and the rest, which is generally not a good thing for football.
“There are clubs who can afford to pay players’ [high] wages, there will still be those clubs. I’m not going to name them, but you know the type of clubs that are out there, both in the UK and in Europe. Those clubs will be competing for the very best players.
“It does mean that those very best players will still be able to maintain a high salary and that will have some knock-on effects. Yes, there will be a depressive impact. “
Greg Clarke, chairman of The FA, recently raised concerns over club’s futures
FA “should listen to football”
FA chairman Greg Clarke has warned that clubs and leagues could be “lost” as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic.
De Marco says English football’s governing body must maintain regular dialogue with everybody in the game.
I’d hope that the FA listens very carefully to the Premier League and the Football League and also to the clubs and players about what they see is necessary to make the season work, “explains De Marco. “It would make no sense at all for the FA to just enforce rules for the sake of it, if that doesn’t help the season get going again or if it just leads to loads of disputes between players and clubs.
“So, the FA have to listen very carefully to what those on the frontline in the game say is necessary and I would expect they would do so.”