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Holland: That's gratitude for you.

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From ESPNsoccernet: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story...os2&cc=5901

 

If someone does you a favour by trying to help you out of financial difficulty it really isn't the done thing to make unreasonable demands of them a little further down the line. It certainly isn't the done thing in real life, but then this isn't a story about real life, it's a story of a fallen footballer and the man who paid for him.

 

Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has threatened to get a court injunction to prevent Michael Owen from playing for England in either June's friendly against Brazil, or more controversially, in the vital Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia.

 

Why? Well, the saga began last year on June 25th during England's World Cup campaign when Owen fell awkwardly against Sweden and ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee; an injury from which he has yet to fully recover.

 

Since that day Newcastle's £17million ($34million) club record signing has been unavailable for selection - in fact, since joining the Magpies in August 2005 he has played just 11 games for the first team as a result of injuries, despite netting an impressive 7 goals.

 

Shepherd believes that the FA owes Newcastle money to help cover costs relating to Owen's rehabilitation and also wouldn't say no to at least part of the £10million cost of replacing him with Obafemi Martins. So incandescent is Shepherd that he is prepared to go to court over the matter.

 

Not only is this an unprecedented and aggressive stance to take, but when you factor in the financial assistance the FA has already provided, it also smacks of ungratefulness.

 

For example, Soho Square officials flew to Switzerland making a personal representation on Newcastle's behalf at FIFA headquarters which directly resulted in a £2million compensation deal from the world governing body's insurance fund for players injured at the World Cup. Plus the FA's own insurance covers half of Owen's weekly £120,000 wages because he was injured while on England duty.

 

However, for Newcastle, whose own insurance covers the other half of Owen's salary, this is not enough support.

 

'They [The FA] have not paid the price of even an aspirin for Michael since he left their care', moans Shepherd. 'They have refused point-blank to pay us, despite it costing us well over £150,000 to aid his recuperation', a figure relating to the cost of two operations at the Colorado clinic of expert surgeon Dr Richard Steadman.

 

Of course, one can appreciate Newcastle's frustration at losing an expensive player while on England duty, one you had hoped could get you 20 goals a season; but to round on the FA in such a way, particularly when they have helped to soften the financial blow, is surely not a wise move politically.

 

The interesting denouement to this story relates to Owen's insurance cover. Under the terms the 27-year-old's wages can continue to be paid until the anniversary of the injury being sustained, meaning that the club could make a considerable saving if the player does not return this season.

 

Owen had been targeting a return against Chelsea at St James Park on Sunday. But despite playing 70 minutes of a reserve game against Gretna last week, Owen has been withdrawn from this week's reserve game against Middlesbrough.

 

With Shepherd and manager Glenn Roeder's insistence that Owen will not be rushed back coming against a backdrop of arguments over money, it is all too easy for the cynic to draw a correlation with the player's stalled comeback.

 

He really has got some nerve to talk about the FA doing us a favour. If Chelsea had lost Drogba or Man U Rooney at the World Cup we'd hear absolutely nae end of whinging about it and the FA'd be falling over themselves to shower money in Rooney's case. As it is, FFS is doing a great job of destroying this club but I'm behind him on this issue 100%. In a nutshell, Owen got injured on international duty. His international association won't pay for his bills. Simple solution - don't release him again and tell them to pay up or piss off.

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The interesting denouement to this story relates to Owen's insurance cover. Under the terms the 27-year-old's wages can continue to be paid until the anniversary of the injury being sustained, meaning that the club could make a considerable saving if the player does not return this season.

 

Actually that probably makes more sense about the current injunction thing, especially given financial issues.

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Why? Well, the saga began last year on June 25th during England's World Cup campaign when Owen fell awkwardly against Sweden and ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee; an injury from which he has yet to fully recover.

 

No the saga started when he broke his foot and newcastle worked their bollocks off to get him fit for the world cup, he played a few games in the black and white, went to germany and broke himself, the FA effectively walked away saying he was on england duty at a FIFA competition therefore its FIFA who should pay, now we have got him fit again, england come knocking

 

F*CK OFF!!

 

I'm not FFS biggest fan but as is already said, I'm behind him 100%

 

and another thing if there is any truth in any of the rumours about owning being targetted for his release clause in the summer I would be seething (I would hope that owen feels he has a debt of honour to discharge before leaving)

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