Revealed: The deadline for Sunderland to make contract decisions on Luke O'Nien, Charlie Wyke, Aiden McGeady and more
Sunderland will be given extra time to make decisions over the futures of the first-team stars after qualifying for the League One play-offs.
Each season, every club in League One has to submit the list of players they plan to release and those who they wish to retain by a set deadline.
For the 2020/21 season, that deadline is today (Saturday, May 15) – with the vast majority of League One clubs having already indicated who they will be allowing to leave this summer.
However, Sunderland and their play-off rivals have been given additional time to make their decisions.
With the Black Cats’ divisional status still uncertain, Lee Johnson won’t have to make any contractual decisions until four days after the club’s final game of the season.
If Sunderland were to exit the play-offs at the semi-final stage, then all contract decisions would have to be communicated to the EFL by May 26. Were the side to reach the final, then they would have until June 3 to submit their released and retained lists.
It’s important to note a couple of things on this front, however.
Firstly, contracts do not have to be signed and sealed by this date. Sunderland simply need to indicate which players they will be offering new terms to, and then negotiations over the contract can continue for as long as is required.
And secondly, the club themselves can publicly release their retained and released lists whenever they choose. This deadline is simply for when the lists have to be submitted to the EFL.
Johnson and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman are going to have some big decisions to make on the contractual front this summer, with a host of players contracts set to expire.
The following players all see their current deals expire in the summer, although a number of the individuals are reported to have options in their current deals which could see their terms extended: Lee Burge, Remi Matthews, Anthony Patterson, Luke O’Nien, Conor McLaughlin, Brandon Taylor, Denver Hume, Callum McFadzean, Max Power, Josh Scowen, Grant Leadbitter, Chris Maguire, Aiden McGeady, Charlie Wyke, Benji Kimpioka.