Clubb sympathises with out-of-contract players

Tony Clubb has expressed his sympathy for players off-contract at the end of the season.

Hundreds of players in the final year of their contracts face an uncertain future due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Clubb is one of the fortunate players who has some security, with his deal at Wigan having another year yet to run.

But clubs were forced to tell players on Friday whether they were going to be offered a new deal, meaning some players were informed of their release despite not being able to earn a contract on the field.

Many other players have been offered contracts but on significantly reduced salaries, despite already taking pay cuts this season.

With reserve grade not coming back next year, numerous young players are set to be moved on while, at the other end of the spectrum, senior players at the back end of their careers are also set to be cut.

It’s widely regarded as the worst ever year to be off-contract and Clubb can feel the pain of the players whose futures have been put in doubt.

“You want to fight for your career and fight to earn a new contract and they’ve not been able to do that,” said Clubb.

“Now you have to do it in a small window of time. The season ends in November and shortly afterwards their contracts end. I have sympathy for them, through this summer they’d have had the chance to show their talents. I’m sure clubs will want to make cuts so players are going to lose out.

“Clubs will want to pull money back and get fans in as quick as possible to help with revenue. Hopefully that will mean that some players can be kept on.

“Potentially clubs could give up a lot of talent, which would be a great shame. At Wigan, we have a young one in Ethan Havard, he’s off-contract and he’s a brilliant kid. I’d hate to see him slip away and be with someone else. I’m sure Wigan are on top of that, but I’m sure there will be a few younger lads and a few at the back end that will be lost. It’s a tough one and I do have sympathy with them.”