Date: 20th April 2007 at 8:11am
Written by:

In the ongoing England`s Michael Owen saga, the FA were dealt a blow yesterday when the Premier League came out in support of our claim for compo for the recuperation costs of the centre forward. Calling it a “test case” Dave Richards landed fully on our side and believed us to be in the right. Speaking to the press he said:

“I think Freddy Shepherd is very, very justified in asking for certain things. It is something that needs sorting out in the game. I ask, ‘Who has suffered out of this?` Well, Michael Owen has, but Newcastle United have as well because they have not had his services and someone has got to pay for that. I think Mr Shepherd is justified in saying this is what we`ve got to do. I think it is a real test case. I think it is a shame that football has to get itself in this position, when it is not difficult for the FA and Newcastle to get together to sort this out outside the media. But Mr Shepherd and Newcastle are one of our members and obviously they have the support of the Premier League.

Over the years, things have changed a little bit and I think that we should readdress it, look at it and lay down new formulas and how things ought to be done regarding international players and the release of international players. We need to do that. If you worked for an employer and they paid you 52 weeks a year and someone came along and said, ‘I am going to take him for ten weeks, but you have got to carry on paying him and I`ll pay him as well` ? where should that money go? Should it go to the employer or to the player who would then get 62 weeks` pay a year instead of 52? That`s the scenario we need to look at.”

An FA board member with understanding and common sense? I`m at a bit of a loss to explain it!