Coronavirus: Premier League season could still be void, says Bournemouth defender Simon Francis

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March 19, 2020
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    Simon Francis

    Bournemouth captain Simon Francis is out of contract with the Cherries on 30 June

    Bournemouth captain Simon Francis fears the Premier League season could still be declared “null and void” despite the campaign being extended indefinitely.

    The Football Association has agreed to extend the deadline to complete this season beyond 1 June.

    “The season being null and void is a possibility,” Francis, whose side are in the relegation zone, told BBC Sport.

    However, he added the “remaining games have to be played and I’m sure other teams around us will feel the same”.

    The Cherries are 18th and in the Premier League relegation zone, level on points with the two teams above them, Watford and West Ham.

    “We have to give ourselves the best chance to prove that we can stay in the Premier League,” said the 33-year-old defender.

    “I would hope it’s more of an option than ending the season [as it is] and teams get promoted or relegated.”

    English football will be suspended until at least 30 April but Francis does not think matches will resume by the end of next month.

    He added: “If you look at the Championship, and you asked teams in the play-offs – a team like Fulham – they wouldn’t be happy [with the season ending as it is].

    “There are only six points between them and West Brom and getting automatic promotion. I think that will open up too many problems within football to end the season like that.

    “I just don’t see that going ahead because it’s not fair in so many ways.”

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    ‘My contract would have to be extended’

    Francis, who has been with the Cherries since 2011, is one of many Premier League players who will be out of contract on 30 June.

    But the defender says he would expect to sign an extension with the club, should the season extend beyond that date.

    “I’d like to think that my future lies in Bournemouth whatever,” he said.

    “I’ve always said that I love the area and I’m settled here. Even after finishing football I know I’ll stay here with my family. So I’m kind of in that situation where I’d love to carry on playing for at least another year.

    “Other players whose contracts are running out will be looking to move elsewhere, and that’s just how football is.

    “Now with the situation we’re in I don’t know how football clubs and players are going to approach it with their agents as well.

    “Will they sign short term deals, knowing that they’re looking to move on? Is that in their best interests? I’m not sure.

    “Injuries could play a part, halting their chance of getting a move. So many questions again that are unanswered right now but football clubs will be working tirelessly to try and work out if that is the solution or the problem that we’re going to be in come the end of June.”

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    March 19, 2020
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