Adelaide's director of football Bruce Djite says out-of-contract A-League players have been left with "nowhere to go" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adelaide United director of football Bruce Djite says off-contract A-League players have been left with "nowhere to go" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reds became the latest A-League club to stand their players and football staff down on Wednesday as the financial impact of the competition's suspension hits hard.
While those with a contract for next season may be eligible for the federal government's JobKeeper funding, Djite said for those whose deals expire on May 31, there was little option with leagues across the world also postponed.
"The ones that are off-contract won't be eligible and that's a concern that they have," Djite told SEN SA Breakfast on Thursday.
"They may be eligible for a part of it but then from 1 June onwards, you'd just really hate to be coming out of contract this season because you really have nowhere to go, literally.
"One of the good things about our sport is if Australia was blowing up you could just pick up your bags and hopefully try to get a deal overseas. Well the whole world is shut down, so very uncertain times for those boys."
Over 100 players across the A-League are off-contract at the end of May.
PFA chief executive John Didulica said what is normally an anxious period for any professional footballer had only been made worse by clubs standing them down without pay.
Didulica said without the alternatives of lower-tier domestic football or overseas leagues, players were dealing with a complete lack of options.
"Now we have a third dynamic that's been added which compounds the inherent anxiety in being a footballer, which is the denial of salary," Didulica told AAP.
"What really has disillusioned a large group of players is that that reality hasn't been considered by many clubs in how those players have been treated."
Djite had to inform Adelaide's players that from April 1 until at least April 22, they would not be being paid.
The ex-Socceroo said Wednesday had been one of the toughest days of his life.
"Having been a player so recently I really feel for them. It's going to be a tough time and the worst part of it all is the uncertainty," he said.
"I'm making these calls and I can't even tell them that 'don't worry boys, we're taking a hit now and then in May, June or July we're back up and full steam ahead' because no-one actually knows. Difficult conversations and a lot of anxious players."
While the FFA is set to review the status of the league on April 22, a decision on Wednesday by the governing body to extend the suspension on all grassroots football until June indicates a resumption of the A-League before then is also unlikely.
When the league does resume however, Djite isn't convinced it'll be the same competition it was before the pandemic.
"Football will start again. What it looks like? What the A-League looks like? Nobody knows. When it starts again? Nobody knows," he said, adding he had to trust Adelaide owner Piet van der Pol's commitment to keep the club alive during the suspension was genuine.
"Adelaide United will be there, that's what he's assured us and we'll be there competing in the A-League, whatever that looks like."