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Freddie goes to war with FA

 

Nov 10 2006

 

 

 

 

By Paul Gilder, The Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newcastle are preparing to go to war with the Football Association after an outraged Freddie Shepherd outlined his determination to take his fight to win significant compensation for the loss of Michael Owen to the courts.

 

The striker suffered a sickening knee injury during England's abortive World Cup campaign in Germany this summer and although Owen is hoping to make his comeback in the closing weeks of the Premiership campaign, it would be a considerable surprise if he were to pull on a black-and-white shirt this season.

 

Although the FA's insurers will cover 50% of the 26-year-old's £103,000-a-week wages for the duration of his absence, the cost to the club has been immense.

 

And Shepherd is adamant he will continue to pursue the matter until he is satisfied United have received fair recompense.

 

 

Should he succeed, a ruling in the club's favour could have major implications for international football.

 

 

But, having insisted the current system is fundamentally flawed, the St James's Park chairman is in no mood to back down.

 

 

"If I borrow something from someone and give back to them damaged, I have to pay for the damage that has been caused," said Shepherd, whose determined stance is being seen as a test case that could revolutionise the international game.

 

 

"It's as simple as that. If I damage something, then I have to repair it. I couldn't borrow something from you, give it back damaged and they say that I want it back again. I heard (the Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger talking about it. He likened it to someone stealing your car and crashing it. You get it repaired and then they come back and steal it again. I thought that was fantastic. I can't see how anyone in the world cannot see this argument."

 

 

It is an argument that has not been viewed sympathetically at FA headquarters. A spokesman for Soho Square responded: "We believe that we have a system in place that ensures that clubs do not lose out financially through injuries sustained by players on international duty.

 

 

"We're one of only a very small number of national associations to have any sort of system in place. The level of cover is always under review but it is something that is taken out at substantial cost to the FA." The dispute has not been resolved and having instructed his lawyers to pursue the matter in both the European and English courts, Shepherd is ready for the fight.

 

 

"They (the FA) have offered us nothing," he said. "At the moment, we are taking legal advice. But because it involves Fifa and the FA, it is a complicated procedure. It is with our legal people both in Europe and in this country, and it will take as long as it takes.

 

 

"What we won't do is give up. We have got a fair and justifiable claim and we will pursue it. There's a lot of money at stake here.

 

 

"We haven't had a penny from the FA in compensation, just the money (50% of Owen's salary) from the insurers. The FA insured everyone, it was a blanket policy.

 

 

"They paid the premium up front and so it didn't matter to them whether Michael got injured or not. It wasn't going to cost them any more money because it was in the hands of the insurers."

 

 

Owen's absence is costing Newcastle dear on several fronts. The player's value on the club's balance sheet will drop significantly during his time on the sidelines and, with Glenn Roeder's team struggling in the Premiership without their best striker's goalscoring talents, relegation remains a threat that cannot be discounted.

 

 

Newcastle may have to spend big during the January transfer window in order to further compensate for his loss. When all is taken into account, the cost could run into tens of millions of pounds.

 

 

Shepherd has already scored one victory over the FA, who have recently changed their insurance policies.

 

 

The policy taken out for the World Cup only covered 50% of an injured player's salary but given the size of some of the sums involved the insurers will be liable to cover wages that go up to £100,000-a-week in the future. It means little to the Owen case but still Shepherd is satisfied with the progress he has made.

 

 

"It's not retrospective - no insurance company in the world would do that," he added. "But it proved in my eyes that they had underinsured in the first place. If I hadn't been beating the drum, they would not have done that. When you have got the likes of the Rooneys, the Ferdinands and the Terrys of this world, something (to have a 50% limit) is wrong."

 

 

* PREMIER League chiefs have amended their rules to give greater leeway to emerging coaches to take charge at clubs. The league's board approved a rule change to allow a manager to be in charge as long as he is enrolled on the Uefa Pro Licence course.

 

 

 

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Guest El_Thicko

"If I borrow something from someone and give back to them damaged, I have to pay for the damage that has been caused," said Shepherd,

 

He's certainly damaged the Toon. C'mon Shepherd, dip into that fat wallet of yours, it's payback time!  :wullie:

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Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

Because non of them would sign for us.

 

Freddy seems to be desperate for this compo, I brt its going to be our transfer kitty for January, better hope we get the fker.

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Guest elbee909

Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

Becayse non of them would sign for us.

 

And moreover would we sign them?  A player with international profile = merchandise, image/brand synergy etc.

 

In Owen's case, everyone knew he was prone to injuries. 

 

Anyway, I think it's up to the individual player to recompense their club if they're out with injury.  They have a responsibility to fulfil their contract and if they choose to indulge in outside activities that endanger that, then they're the ones who should pay the price.  Esp. when you look at the nature of the Owen injury - that was waiting to happen, all he did was run along a bit before pulling up, wasn't even tackled!  How exactly did the FA themselves break him?  They didn't.  He barely even played.

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By rights Owen should not have been picked for the World Cup or Rooney, both were clearly unfit.

 

Whilst the FA were not directly at fault for Owens injury some of the blame can be attributed.

 

A few people on here had different attitudes with the Welsh FA and Mark Hughes when Bellamy came back crocked all the time.

 

For once I believe Freddy is making the right stance, and a lot of the powerful European Clubs (G-14) would be in favour of greater responsability to be taken by the International FA's.

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Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

 

Against FIFA rules. If a player is called up (even if they have retired) they have to go, or be suspended from playing for their club.

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Guest elbee909

Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

 

Against FIFA rules. If a player is called up (even if they have retired) they have to go, or be suspended from playing for their club.

 

Do they have any responsibility re. compensation?

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Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

 

Against FIFA rules. If a player is called up (even if they have retired) they have to go, or be suspended from playing for their club.

 

Do they have any responsibility re. compensation?

 

Nope, which is why it is unfair for us that they should prevent  us from preventing our own players for playing internationally.

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Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

 

Against FIFA rules. If a player is called up (even if they have retired) they have to go, or be suspended from playing for their club.

 

Where does it say that in the rules??  We're talking about international Football here, not national service.  Its entirely up to the player wether or not they're available to be called up..

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Hmm.  Why not prohibit players contractually from playing international football?

 

Against FIFA rules. If a player is called up (even if they have retired) they have to go, or be suspended from playing for their club.

 

Where does it say that in the rules??  We're talking about international Football here, not national service.  Its entirely up to the player wether or not they're available to be called up..

 

Did you not follow the Makelele saga where he was forced to play for France in August despite being retired?

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I think we're plum in the wrong here. Players come back injured from international duty all the time. It's an inevitable hazard of having an international dimension to the game. The only reason why Shepherd is making a fuss is because, in Owen's case, we're losing a lot of money rather than a smaller amount.

 

If the international game means anything at all, then the best players need to be available. If clubs either withold players, or National Associations don't pick certain players because they can't afford compensation, then the international game will soon become a meaningless sideshow, rather than the pinnacle that it is.

 

Club Chairmen tend to pursue their own interests without any oversight of the good of the game as a whole. If control of the game ever falls into the hands of people like Freddie Shepherd, it'll be a very sad day.

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Guest Gemmill

I like the way Shepherd genuinely thinks that his "you borrowed my tool and you broke it" defence is going to stand up in court.  I can just see him on the stand repeating it over and over again.

 

"Okay, let's say I lend you a hammer..."

 

"Yes, Mr. Shepherd, we understand the analogy.  Your honour, this is going nowhere."

 

"But what if I lent you a screwdriver."

 

"Mr. Shepherd!  We get the analogy."

 

"But it's a Philips one."

 

"Your honour!?"

 

"And you mangled the end of it....."

 

"Your honour, the defendant is getting on my tit end."

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I think we're plum in the wrong here. Players come back injured from international duty all the time. It's an inevitable hazard of having an international dimension to the game. The only reason why Shepherd is making a fuss is because, in Owen's case, we're losing a lot of money rather than a smaller amount.

 

If the international game means anything at all, then the best players need to be available. If clubs either withold players, or National Associations don't pick certain players because they can't afford compensation, then the international game will soon become a meaningless sideshow, rather than the pinnacle that it is.

 

Club Chairmen tend to pursue their own interests without any oversight of the good of the game as a whole. If control of the game ever falls into the hands of people like Freddie Shepherd, it'll be a very sad day.

 

You're right. In fact we should not play our international players for at least 2 weeks before an international game in case they get injured and can't play for their country, and then pay for their flights in case the poor National Associations can't afford it. Thank god football is currently in the safe hands of someone as selfless and altruistic as Sepp Blatter.

 

Excuse me while I go and tell my boss he should be paying my insurance for my skiing holiday next year.

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I really hope FS wins, and not just our point of view either.

 

We bought them, we pay their wages, why the fuk are they allowed to borrow them without expense occurred, nevermind when they come back in bits?

 

About time FIFA stopped taking the piss out of football clubs, if it weren't for the clubs, International football as we know (the global commodity that it is) wouldn't exist, its about time they and their millions gave back to the clubs who are left high and fuking dry by a bent rule made a long time ago.

 

 

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Guest Invicta_Toon

pure un-adulterated bollocks

 

since when were players 'owned' and 'borrowed'

 

If I was an international and FF purported to owning me, I know exaclty where I'd tell him to go

 

IF YOU BUY AN INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER HE WILL BE CALLED UPON TO PLAY FOR HIS COUNTRY. It is FF's fault for not having adequate risk management, otherwise known as the eggs and single basket method of management

 

Nothing more than a pathetic attempt to shift blame from his inept management, and with ramifications as possibly far-reaching as Bosman. All because of this fat twat  :wullie:

 

 

rocket science it aint

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pure un-adulterated bollocks

 

since when were players 'owned' and 'borrowed'

 

If I was an international and FF purported to owning me, I know exaclty where I'd tell him to go

 

IF YOU BUY AN INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER HE WILL BE CALLED UPON TO PLAY FOR HIS COUNTRY. It is FF's fault for not having adequate risk management, otherwise known as the eggs and single basket method of management

 

Nothing more than a pathetic attempt to shift blame from his inept management, and with ramifications as possibly far-reaching as Bosman. All because of this fat **** :wullie:

 

 

rocket science it aint

 

I agree. Freddie paid too much money and offered too high wages for a player that we couldn't really afford. That's why he's bleating.

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