Posh players are left in limbo as contract talks are placed on hold

Posh have been forced to put contract talks with key players on hold because of the pandemic and the scrapping of the salary cap squad rules.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:00 am
Nathan Thompson in action (blue).
Nathan Thompson in action (blue).

Defenders Nathan Thompson Dan Butler, Frazer Blake-Tracy and Sam Cartwright are among those out of contract at the end of the current season, although Posh have the option to trigger an additional year on all of them.

Star forward Siriki Dembele is in the same boat and will be offered an improved deal should Posh win promotion to the Championship.

If Posh fail to go up it’s likely Dembele will be sold to ensure he can’t leave on a free transfer at the end of next season.

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Siriki Dembele of Peterborough United in action with Dan Gardner of Wigan Athletic. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Midfielder Louis Reed is also out of contract at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Posh have usually entered contract negotiations with players approaching the final year of their contracts by now, but they have been unable do that this year.

Posh co-owner Darragh MacAnthony went on the record earlier this season to say Thompson would be offered a new deal, but negotiations are curently on hold.

Thompson has been outstanding for Posh this season.

Posh would also love to keep Dembele, but the 25 year-old handed in a transfer request towards the end of last year and could prefer to cash in on a move to a bigger club even if he helps his current side to promotion.

“The change in rules from salary cap back to financial fairplay makes things really awkward,” Posh director of football Barry Fry stated.

“We can now only spend a certain amount of our income (60%) on player costs and of course we have had no income this season.

“We are unsure what would happen if we lodged new contracts with the authorities. We are awaiting clarification of how they will enforce the financial fairplay rules. I would imagine many clubs are technically in breach of them now!

“If we go up we will offer Siriki an improved contract because he’s such a talented player, but whether or not he signs it is another matter.

“It’s up to the manager if he wants to trigger the option on the other players, but we’ve had to put back the discussions because of the difficult and unsual circumstances.

“The players understand this and all they are concentrating on right now is winning promotion.

“We usually protect ourselves by adding options to players’ contracts.

“Obviously if we go up we are better placed to make good offers to the players we want to keep, but as I say it’s up to the manager in the first instance.”

The EFL was forced to scrap the salary cap rules as the Professional Footballers Association successfully argued in court it was an unlawful move.