Millwall boss hints at contract dilemmas beyond June 30 – and offers potential solution

GARY Rowett is hoping the football authorities and clubs can come to an agreement to allow loan and out-of-contract players to finish their seasons with their current teams.

Millwall have Luke Steele, Ryan Woods and Mason Bennett on temporary deals from Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Derby until the end of the of the 2019-20 campaign, which is currently suspended.

The Lions gave new deals of Mahlon Romeo and Shaun Hutchinson earlier this year, and Rowett was hopeful that there would be more announcements of contract extensions before the end of the season.

But that was before the coronavirus outbreak which has left football in limbo with doubts over whether the season will return on April 30, the date the authorities had most recently targeted to resume leagues.

NewsAtDen asked Rowett earlier this week whether Millwall will be affected by contracts ending June 30.

If the season does restart it could go beyond that date, adding confusion for clubs with players approaching the end of their current deals.

"I think we've got a few with options, that might be out of contract, options on a certain amount of games reached," Rowett said. "Let's say we might have a player that's two games away from reaching that, and you've got nine games left. But it's a grey area.

"We're not as affected by that as other people. It's special circumstances. I think those contracts will have to be extended for the short term. And I think the day the season finishes then I'd imagine effectively those players will probably be out of contract from that point on, if that's the case. That's up and down the country.

"If I'm being honest, we don't know any more than anyone else, it's something that the EFL will be discussing, the Premier League will be discussing.

"You might have a loan player that you've only agreed a contract up until May 31, which sometimes happens, and if the season runs on longer than that, does that player then go back?

"I'd imagine what will happen is that the contracts will get extended mandatorily to the point the season finishes.

"There are so many different scenarios that we're still trying to get that clarity on."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly