April 20, 2007

Newcastle wants England FA to pay more for Owen injuries.: "The Premier League has backed Newcastle's claim for compensation from the Football Association for Michael Owen's serious injury on England duty. Owen, 27, suffered knee ligament damage against Sweden in the 2006 World Cup. Newcastle have received about 6m compensation from the FA, FIFA and, their insurer, but want to recoup 150,000 paid out in getting Owen fit." How prevalent is this kind of compensatory arrangement for pro players who are injured in international matches? How about in other sports? For example, do the MLS or NBA or NFL or MLB teams get compensated when their players get injured playing for Team USA? Will the increasing costs help return international sports to amateur status?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:07 PM - 6 comments

Damn right! Yeah! Get your money! Or Maybe it's just good enough that Owens participates at the national level. Sports are occassional about more than dollars. Insurance is picking up most of it, the rest might just be the price you pay for having a national-calibre player on your roster. Suck it up. I don't think there is a North American equivalent. If you get hurt at the Olympics, or something similar, and you're a pro, your team doesn't get any compensation for lost services. Not that I can remember, anyway.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:49 PM on April 20, 2007

I vaguely remember Mark Cuban making a bunch of noise (I know, shocking) about his players potentially getting hurt during some sort of international tournament a few summers ago.. (Maybe the olympics, maybe some other tournament, I don't recall.) Will the increasing costs help return international sports to amateur status? Would this be a good or bad thing? I haven't thought very much about this, but I never really understood the allure of amateurs competing internationally when there are better professionals around.

posted by blarp at 04:56 PM on April 20, 2007

"Amateur" status for athletes is beginning-of-the-19th-Century code for "make sure no poor people or working people can participate under any circumstances. When "amateur" was invented as a category in athletics, people who worked in any kind of physical labor were considered "professional" and were excluded. Athletics were to be kept for the upper classes, thankyouverymuch. So, "amateur" athletics was always a sham, and in no way should it be something to aspire to. As far as players getting hurt - I think the professional league in which someone plays should be responsible for setting a universal policy, so that no single team has anything to say about it - and that should include insuring against problems with as robust a policy as the owners agree that they require. If they have not done so in this case, well, tough luck.

posted by mikelbyl at 05:48 PM on April 20, 2007

I would think that contracts between player and club should cover things like international duty. If not, then perhaps the FA in every country should look at standard clauses for release etc, according to FIFA policies. Naturally, there would be some consideration for compensation to clubs, and also loss of income for the player. I'm sure it could be done, perhaps through a kind of contributory insurance scheme, tied to another pension one where any kind of career ending injury could be covered. It happens in some professions and work care schemes, why not football?

posted by owlhouse at 06:04 PM on April 20, 2007

I agree with Weedy and owlhouse. Namely, tough luck, that's the chance you take AND it seems reasonable to think that these things are considered beforehand via contracts and insurance policies. On its face it seems reasonable to pay the original owner of Owen's services for injuries suffered while providing services supplemental to his original contract with the owner. However, if money is paid to a club for their vested interest in the injured player by the national team, where and a what point does it stop? World cup? Olympics? Friendlies? England sues MSL for loss of national player playing for US league? In short, it's a slippery slope. I think the answer is COLI/BOLI policies (corporate owned/business owned life insurance policies) taken out on executives. Surely the business side of these clubs already have these, don't they? Liability shouldn't become an issue. If an entity has interest in an individual, it should shoulder the responsibility of negating any mishap, risk or unforeseen loss.

posted by koyaan at 01:15 AM on April 21, 2007

FIFA rules require that players called up for national team duty report or face suspensions from club matches, except in case of injury or other reason accepted by the national team. Makele (or maybe Patrick Viera?) wants to retire from international play but the French coach said screw that, we need you, and he had to report. So clubs don't have a lot to say if the national manager wants a player, which is why we often see articles quoting club managers on how there is too much international play. Of course clubs usually have some pull with their own FAs and can negotiate call ups. Clubs can insure their players or expect compensation from the FA or governing body but bottom line is the players have to show up. Clubs who block players face serious penalty from FIFA.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:10 PM on April 21, 2007

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