Although it’s unlikely, Fulham could lose seven first team players this summer.
The reason they could lose that many stars is because they are all on contracts which are set to expire once the season has finished.
Fulham boss Martin Jol has confirmed that the club are in talks with a number of the players in questions, over new deals which will keep them at the club for the foreseeable future.
The players include top profile stars Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Mladen Petric, Giorgos Karagounis, Simon Davies, Chris Baird and Philippe Senderos.
The good news is Fulham seem to be on top of the situation and are working on deals to keep those players in place, months before the end of the season.
However, if agreements aren’t reached then there could be an exodus of epic proportions at Craven Cottage which may see some of the side’s best players walking away for nothing.
“There's a lot of players finishing their contracts [at the end of the season] and we are talking to most of them. We will have a few more in the next couple of weeks,” Jol told the Fulham Chronicle.
What’s most interesting is that some of the players in question have clauses in their current contracts which will trigger an automatic extension if they play a certain number of games.
Considering Fulham’s relative mid-table obscurity in the Premier League and no real threat that they’ll go down, don’t be surprised if Jol uses his rotation policy quite a lot over the final few weeks of the season.
Why the club has let the situation grow to such an extent is a little unclear because there’s no doubt that it’s a big risk.
If there are any key players in question who have already made up their minds that they want to leave Fulham at the end of this campaign, they now have free licence to do just that because the club has missed out on the chance to sell them.
The point for Fulham is to keep all of the big name and important players in place and then support those players with summer additions, which is inevitable as Fulham are unlikely to agree new deals for all key players.
Damien Duff is the most recent star to pledge his future to the club and gradually others should follow suit but it’s not exactly the best example of how to handle contracts.
Fulham fans, what do you make of this?
image: © Tom Cuppens