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In Defense of G14, Europe's Club Union

  • BBC News, Tuesday, November 28, 2006 3:13 PM
At Soccerex, BBC News points out that Arsenal vice chairman David Dein was also forced to defend G14, the union that represents Europe's clubs before FIFA in matters of finance. Its members include Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, AC and Inter Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Porto. "G-14 is a friend of the game," Dein told delegates. "It is not just for the good and great, the rich and famous. It is clubs that are similar in many respects because of their success, or the money they generate." Dein pointed out that the little guys are important to G14 too, as evidenced by the group's backing of Newcastle and Charleroi in their legal disputes with FIFA. Of course, the little guys are important, as long as there's no conflict of interest, right? Since the introduction of the UEFA Champions League and its group format in 1992, all but one of the competition's finalists was a G14 member. Dein warned that player quotas, introduced at the conference by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and backed to a certain extent by Chelsea's Peter Kenyon, would land FIFA in court for obstructing European Union employment legislation, though he added that more control over the situation would be good thing for the game. As for foreign ownership of Premiership clubs, Dein said the G14 organization was not concerned about foreign investment, though more transparency regarding those deals should be required in the future.

Read the whole story at BBC News »

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