A top football agent believes players will no longer have the upper hand in contract negotiations - insisting club budgets will dictate transfer movement in future.

Jon Hassall of Beswicks Sports represents a host of stars in Scotland including former Celtic winger Lewis Morgan, Rangers' Matt Polster and St Mirren's Kyle McAllister. His clients list is not limited to north of the border, with Newcastle's £15million-rated Sean Longstaff also on the books, as well as brother Matthew and Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez.

Having only recently brokered a deal that took Morgan from Parkhead to Inter Miami, and with his other top players still in contract until at least 2021, the coronavirus pandemic may not have hit Hassall as hard as it is likely to hit others with lesser profile footballers.

Unfortunately, however, at the opposite end of the financial spectrum, Hassall has watched a number of his players' heads drop at the news that their release from the lower leagues. Moving forward, he doesn't expect many of them to have much to negotiate with, either, with clubs forced to quell their spending to, in some cases, survive.

"You're phoning clubs but you've got to almost be careful not to be a pest," he told Herald and Times Sport. "You've got to do what's right for your player and push as hard as you can, but you've also got a duty to understand the situation all the clubs are in, they can't give you answers. Until we know budgets and when we're starting again, there's nothing we can really do.

"Teams are working out their budgets and planning on the basis of not having fans in the door until at least January. There's no definite clarification on that and that's what they're planning on budgeting for. It's not a good time, unfortunately for some lads, to be out of contract. They're very limited as to what they can do, what have you got to negotiate with? Clubs have the power now and can simply say, 'This is the situation because of COVID-19, do you want to take this now or join the other 1,400 players out of contract'. It's been a bit of a power shift, I would say.

"We're in an uncharted position. We've had crises in football before but nothing ever like this. That's the problem, you're speaking to your players trying to keep them positive and they know you're working as hard for them as possible. But your hands are tied behind your back, really. They've got to trust you're working for them, which is what we do, we have to just hope that eventually things will fall back into place and people will be able to start making plans."

He added: "We've had players released, senior players, and it's a big concern. Those lads may have been used to earning, say, £1,500 a week, and now all of a sudden they're released. They've got mortgages to pay for, wives and children to support, and I don't know where their next move is going to be. I don't know what clubs are going to have. For all I know, those players might now only be able to command £800 a week, say.

"There's talk of salary caps coming into play in League 1 and 2 down south and that will have an affect on what they'll be able to offer players. It's just the unknown, you're negotiating against that because you don't know what clubs will come in at. There's also a load of players out there who are going to be fighting for the same spot, and there's always going to be people who will do it for cheaper."