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Neil Crompton

Player Contract Renewal Discussion.

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Under the present system, it would appear that players who have reached the final year of their contract, can have a new contract offered to them at any time during that final year. This is beneficial to the Club, because an early signing provides more certainty in the planning going forward. But is it putting too much pressure on the player? If he doesn't sign in due course, or if he states that he wants to delay talks till the end of the season, he becomes the target of extensive media, public and peer speculation and often pressure. The better the player, the more the pressure. Think of the media and public frenzy surrounding the Dangerfield or the Martin or even the Hogan decision to delay contract talks.  Look at the peer pressure and resentment we know was placed on Lever, and appears to have been placed on Lynch, or the rumored pressure surrounding Gaff's current indecision - and the possible impact it's had on him. The pressure is there whether they sign or not.

Therefore, is there a better system that would not place players under so much pressure during the season proper - particularly in terms of team moral and performance? Even acknowledging that contract talks can take some time to negotiate, would a set period at the end of the season for all contract renewals to be offered and accepted / rejected be a fairer way? Interested in your thoughts.

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