In these unprecedented times, no one knows what is happening with football. It’s on an enforced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s no real sign of when this will be lifted. There’ll be a logistical backlog of games to get through. Aside from that, there is also the need to consider player contract situations – the projected end date for the season being past the traditional 30 June cut-off point for contracts.
Burton Albion sit in that mid-table pivot position in League One, the Brewers in 12th position on 48 points. That total should be enough to guarantee them safety and another season in English football’s third-tier competition. They sit 11 points away from the playoffs, that last place being held by Peterborough. There is much uncertainty in football at the moment and that stretches to the issue of players and player contracts. Here are five Burton Albion players whose contracts are due up at the end of June.
Stephen Quinn (central midfield): Former 18-cap Irish international Quinn has been at Burton since late-August 2018 with the Brewers snapping him up after his release by Reading. Since he arrived at the Pirelli Stadium, Quinn has featured in 86 games for the Brewers, scoring two goals and adding five assists. This season has seen him make 29 appearances for Nigel Clough’s side where he has provided one assist.
John Brayford (right-back): Brayford was originally on the books at Burton Albion, coming up through their youth system before a September 2008 move to Crewe Alexandra and later, big-money moves to Derby County (£500,000), Cardiff City (£1.5m) and Sheffield United (£2m). He arrived back at Burton on deadline day 2017 courtesy of a free transfer from the Blades. Across all his time at the club, Brayford has amassed 152 appearances with six goals and nine assists.
Jake Buxton (centre-back): 35-year-old central defender Buxton came into football via Mansfield Town in 2003 before arriving at Burton Albion for his first spell at the Pirelli in early August 2005. He was moved on to Derby County a year later in another free transfer, spending eight years with the Rams before a transfer to Wigan, arriving back with Nigel Clough’s side at the opening of the summer 2017 transfer window. Across all his spells at the club, Buxton has made 98 appearances, scoring one goal and providing four assists. That goal has come this season in the impressive 4-2 away at Oxford United in one of 24 league games the club captain has played this season.
Scott Fraser (attacking midfield): Scottish attacking midfielder Fraser joined Burton Albion on a free transfer from Dundee United, where he’d come through the youth ranks. Since signing for the Brewers, Fraser has made 91 appearances for the club, scoring 16 goals and adding 19 assists. This season the 25-year-old has featured in 30 of Burton’s games and has an impressive return of five goals and 11 assists in the league with another four goals and three assists coming in cup competitions.
Oliver Sarkic (centre-forward): Sarkic was signed on a one year deal from Leeds United who had brought him in as one of several youngsters arriving from high-profile European clubs – Sarkic coming up through the Anderlecht and Benfica youth systems. Since arriving at the Brewers, the Grimsby-born 22-year-old has featured in 28 games for Nigel Clough’s side, scoring three goals and providing four assists.