Tuesday, November 28, 2006

G14 bullying FIFA into submission?....

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has been speaking in Dubai at the Soccerex finance seminar on behalf of the G-14, who in turn represent football's wealthiest clubs. The Arsenal man claims that the G-14 is looking to build bridges with the game's authorities, such as Fifa.

Dein says that the G-14 is a friend of football, but at the same time the G-14 is backing two legal cases over claims for compensation regarding players who've been injured while playing for their countries. The two clubs concerned aren't actually G-14 members, so this is a sort of war by proxy as far as the G-14 goes.

Belgium club Charleroi, have an impending court date with FIFA and Newcastle are in talks with the FA over compensation for the loss of Michael Owen who is still out after getting injured playing for England. The G-14 believes that national associations and FIFA should take out insurance policies in a bid to compensate the clubs when such injuries happen.

However, FIFA claim that if Charleroi win this court battle, it could mark the beginning of the end of International football as we know it, because only Europe's wealthiest countries could fund the insurance premiums. FIFA representatives have hinted that the likes of Brazil would no longer be able to compete on the world stage because they wouldn't be able to pay the insurance premiums - clearly this is scare tactics by FIFA and utter nonsense. I cannot ever imagine that scenario - because quite simply football is too big and too important in countries like Brazil and Argentina for that to happen.

Apparently the FA already has a compensation package in place, they will reportedly pay up to a maximum of £55,000 a week for up to two years. Owen is said to earn nearly double the amount being offered by way of compensation. Hence Newcastle's beef.

The latest news is that it's likely the Charleroi court date will be be set aside because FIFA have hinted that they will buckle and put compensation on the agenda. Reports claim FIFA will settle out of court with Charleroi. So it looks like the G-14 have won this war by proxy with FIFA.

However, what does this actually mean for the average fan in the street? Well for starters, the FA have been ripping-off England fans and anyone who attends the FA cup semi and final for years. No other national association fleece's fans like the FA - if there was a world cup for this, the FA would win it every time. But with the danger of appearing to defend the FA and I'm not defending them - they don't have much choice really, because they don't have any other income streams. So what will happen in the future? I venture two things. First the fans who go to watch say Manchester United may lose Rooney, if god forbids he gets injured while playing for 'Ingerlund'. Then to compound matters, assuming some United fans still attend 'Ingerlund' games, they will be charged even more money to watch the 'Three Lions'. So the only person who loses out in the end is Joe Public.

I'm not averse to the concept of compensation, but the game has gone on for long enough under the present rules. The fact is clubs are guilty of paying sky high wages, that is the real route cause of the problem. I have another solution. Why not scrap international football altogether? :0)

What is it with football and Belgium? First it was Jean-Marc Bosman who brought about radical changes to the transfer system, now Charleroi are at it causing trouble. Why can't they just stick to making fine chocolates and beer?

1 comment:

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