G14 seeking share of Euro 2008 profits for clubs
BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Clubs who have players at Euro 2008 will seek a share of the revenue generated by the finals, G14 general manager Thomas Kurth told Reuters on Thursday.
The G14 group, which represents 18 of Europe's most powerful clubs, is also hoping the clubs will be compensated for financial losses if their players are injured.
The two rulings could be in place by the start of Euro 2008 in June if a deal is signed between the G14 and European soccer's governing body UEFA.
Any agreement between UEFA and the G14 on compensation would bring to an end one of the most contentious issues in recent soccer history.
'We are hopeful of a deal with UEFA,' Kurth told Reuters.
'We believe awarding the clubs a share of the revenue generated by the competition would recognise the contribution the clubs make to international football.
'It would not just be G14 clubs benefiting but all clubs with players in the finals. Hopefully this will be agreed before the start of the finals and could lead to a memorandum of understanding being signed next year.'
Although a deal between the G14 and UEFA appears likely, there are still tensions between the G14 and world soccer's governing body FIFA centred on an outstanding court case involving the Belgian club Charleroi.
Charleroi lost Abdelmajid Oulmers in November 2004 for eight months after he was injured playing for Morocco and still had to pay his salary although he could not turn out for the club.
Newcastle United similarly lost Michael Owen for much of last season after he was injured playing for England at the World Cup in Germany, although compensation for the club was eventually agreed out of court.
The G14, which will be reformed as a larger group next year and have more direct links with UEFA, wants the clubs to be indemnified from the risk of injury while their players are on international duty.
Kurth said he expected the new organisation would be in place early next year and by the start of Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland at the latest.
'The G14 will not cease to exist until our objectives have been realised,' he said.
'We want compensation for players injured on international duty, a say in setting the dates for the international matchday calendar and a greater voice in the decision-making process.'
The G14 has had frosty relationships with UEFA and FIFA for much of its seven-year existence but its relationship with UEFA has warmed considerably since Michel Platini succeeded Lennart Johansson as president in January.
Kurth would also like the G14 to have a closer relationship with FIFA.