Burnley manager Sean Dyche was unable to name a full bench for Monday’s trip to Manchester City as a number of players refused to take part after not being offered contract extensions.
The Clarets have five players whose deals are due to expire at the end of June: Phil Bardsley, Aaron Lennon, Jeff Hendrick, Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins.
Former England goalkeeper Hart has already been told his contract will not be extended, while Lennon has reportedly rejected an extension.
Dyche’s squad is further depleted by injuries ruling out Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
Burnley named just seven of a possible nine substitutes against City.
“It’s a strange situation with contracts,” Dyche told Sky Sports. “Players who haven’t been offered things have decided not to finish their contracts.”
Dyche has made his frustration at the Burnley board’s handling of the situation clear.
“These situations didn’t need to occur,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“That is something the chairman and the board must learn from. The COVID crisis has not been helpful for sure but it’s not been the cover story because I’ve been talking about this for 18 months.”
Dyche stressed on Monday that he is still very keen to keep as many players as he can until the end of the season in July.
“At this moment, it’s not easy. All of them I would’ve kept in the short term,” he added.
“It’s not ideal but it’s part of management, we’ve still got a great group here.”
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