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G14 clubs seeking more power and money in soccer shake-up

Written by: Staff

BRUSSELS, Mar 16 (Reuters) Europe's richest football clubs will demand increased power and more cash from the game's authorities as part of their contribution to the independent review in to how the game is run accross the European Union.

In a document obtained by Reuters today, the G14, which represents 18 of the world's most powerful clubs, outlines its 10 objectives which it will present to the enquiry sponsored by UEFA, European football's governing body and the EU.

Under its proposals, the G14 is seeking a direct vote for clubs in UEFA and to be included when agreeing the international calender.

Ultimately, the G14 is seeking for UEFA to appoint a second chief executive, purely do deal with club issues.

At present one CEO -- Lars-Christer Olsson -- deals with both the clubs and the national associations.

The enquiry in to how the game is run across the 25-member states was set up in December under the British presidency of the EU with its final report expected by the end of May.

Last month, the G14 were invited by the head of the review, former Portuguese minister Jose Luis Arnaut to take part, marking the first time the organisation had been acknowledged by the football authorites.

At international level, FIFA, the world governing body, UEFA and the national associations agree the programme for World Cup, European Championships and international friendlies for which the clubs must release their players.

The clubs wish to be consulted on the international diary and are seeking what they describe as ''adequate compensation'' for the release of these players.

In simple terms, they are seeking a share of the revenue from tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship finals.

An example would be Real Madrid receiving money from FIFA for each of its players on show at the finals in Germany.

COMPENSATION DEMAND Football's governing bodies reject this idea, claiming the monies generated at these events are re-invested in to the game at national level for youth, development and infastructure.

On a more controversial note, the clubs say that if a player is injured whilst playing for their country, the national association should pay the costs and compensate the club. This would cripple the majority of associations, FIFA says.

For instance if Didier Drogba is injured while playing for the Ivory Coast and is out for three weeks, his wages should be paid by the Ivory Coast for those three weeks.

This theory will be put to the test for the first time on Monday when Belgian club, Charleroi - backed by the G14 - take FIFA to court seeking compensation for the club after one of their players was injured while playing a friendly for Morocco against Burkina Faso in November 2004 and missed the rest of the season.

The G14 have also joined French champions Olympique Lyon in a similar action.

The G14's ten-point plan will be part of the discussions during the EU enquiry's first public hearing on March 29.

Reuters PDS DB2014

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