Date: 23rd June 2006 at 10:19am
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Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has again hit out at the Football Association over Michael Owen’s forced exit from the World Cup. This time he says (allegedly) that England set up a better insurance deal for Wayne Rooney than Owen.

Shepherd: ‘From what I hear – and the source is good – a separate deal was done for Rooney and it covered a transfer value of £30million and his entire career earnings.

‘If it is true that the FA have taken out extra cover for Rooney over and beyond what they have done for other players during the World Cup then that is wrong.

‘We should be treated fairly, not discriminated against and this is discrimination of the highest order. We have already alerted our lawyers and if we have to go to court, we will. We want fair play and equality. Michael is every bit as important to us and other clubs will feel the same.’