The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Europe’s top clubs want part of World Cup profit

Brussels: Europe’s elite clubs will demand about 20 percent of the profits from the 2006 World Cup in exchange for dropping opposition to other Fifa competitions such as the Club World Championship and Confederations Cup.

A formula linking “compensation” to national team call-ups for the World Cup finals in Germany in three years’ time was hammered out on Tuesday at a meeting of the G14 group, which represents 18 of Europe’s leading clubs.

Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon, who is a vice-president of G14, said it was inevitable that negotiations would involve clubs’ attitudes to the world governing body’s more contentious tournaments.

The G14 will take their proposed formula back to Fifa in response to a challenge laid down by its president, Sepp Blatter, at a meeting between the two organisations last month.

However, a spokesman for world soccer’s governing body said: “The executive committee (of Fifa) will have a look at the proposal and give a formal reply after studying various aspects. But it’s unlikely to agree to any such proposal.”

An international soccer source said the likely compensation sum demanded would be 20 percent of the 2006 World Cup profits to be split among all those clubs around the world — but mostly in Europe — whose players participate at the finals.

Fifa figures show that last year’s tournament in South Korea and Japan generated a profit of about £140 million, which is expected to rise above 200 million in Germany. A 20 percent slice would be £40 million.

But the Fifa spokesman said: “It (the proposal) is rather unrealistic. We already reimburse the national associations who participate in Fifa competitions to help cover their costs and to develop football in their countries.”

The G14 clubs also considered progress in lobbying the European Union for a specific sports protocol — the right of the sporting authorities to run their sports in the way they see fit — as part of the Treaty of Rome.

The G14 discussed how best to profit from a renegotiation of Champions League media rights, since the intervention of the European Commission means that from next season clubs can claw back the rights to some Champions League match action.

The G14 clubs are Juventus, AC and Inter Milan, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Paris Saint Germain, Olympique Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven, Porto.

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