Port Vale chief executive on players’ contracts as clubs look for solutions


Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick is hoping for a national or even international agreement about players’ contracts.

The EFL and Premier League have suspended football until April 30, at the earliest, because of the coronavirus crisis.  But there is uncertainty about when they will be able to resume, or whether the season has any chance of being finished before June 30 when many players’ contracts end.

Garlick says public health and measures against the virus are rightly the main priority rather than football.

But he says the issue of contracts requires a collective approach rather than clubs acting on their own.

He said: “I think this is going to require a lot of common sense and a lot of coming together. There will be difficulties with contracts because contracts will expire.

“There will be contracts that have been discussed, because internationally you can move and agree potential contracts once you get to January 1.

“So, somebody wanting to go and play in Belgium could have a contract in place knowing their (existing) contract is going to expire on June 30. These things are going to have to come from on high, from Fifa and Uefa and then down to the FA and the leagues.

Vale Park (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

“I have been involved in some discussions, mainly because I am part of a working party with the Football League, looking at all possibilities. But we are working at EFL level and we are going to be reliant on information and support coming out of FIFA as to what we can and can’t do.”

Garlick says clubs do want to finish the season at some stage before starting the next one.

He said: “I think within football, if at all possible, people seem to want to finish the current season. I am not sure how we are going to do that. We are certainly not going to pick up before the beginning of May. Then is it going to be in front of a paying public? I just don’t know.

“I know there is a willingness right across football to finish this season, that’s for sure. If we get the opportunity to, and where we go beyond that is really anybody’s guess.”

He says, if the season can restart in the summer, one possibility could be an agreement to extend, by an agreed period, all contracts due to run out on June 30.

Meanwhile, the chief executive is proud the club is becoming a community hub for the north of the city during the coronavirus crisis.

Port Vale, the club’s Foundation Trust, The Hubb Foundation charity, and the Synectics Solutions and Summit Hospitality businesses also owned by Vale owners Kevin and Carol Shanahan, are sharing resources to help schools, children and vulnerable members of the community. 

He added: “We believe that we are the hub of the community, we are the heartbeat of the community. If you take the locals around here, somebody has a connection with the club or knows someone with the club.

“We can make a difference and we can be a part of it. That is really what we are trying to do because there are people out there that do need help.”

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