Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 22 News List

World Cup: Owen injury set to hurt FA

COSTLY CROCK The England striker's injury means the Football Association has to compensate his club, but the Newcastle chairman is unhappy about the amount on offer

AGENCIES , NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND

The injury sustained by Michael Owen is going to hurt the Football Association's pockets as much as the Newcastle striker.

The FA, which is responsible for insuring all England players while on national duty, will compensate the striker's club for as long as the recovery period takes.

"We have an insurance policy in place for all players that covers their salaries while they are injured," FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said.

Owen earns ?103,000 a week (US$190,000) with the Magpies and is expected to miss up to eight months, making a potential total claim of over ?3 million.

He ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the second minute of England's 2-2 tie with Sweden.

Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd said on Wednesday that the compensation the club will receive from the English FA's insurers will be far too low.

Shepherd told Sky Sports News: "When you lend somebody something and they return it injured or broken then you shouldn't have to pay for the repair."

"That what's happened at Newcastle and the level of compensation isn't high enough in my opinion," he said. "Players move on, players' wages move on and transfer fees move on so the level [of compensation] is far too low."

Owen is the FA's second high-profile injury of the World Cup. Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse broke his leg days before the tournament in a warm up game against China.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has suggested clubs would hesitate to release players to national duty if they end up losing them to long-term injury.

"It's clear there is a problem with the rules," Benitez said. "As a club, not only have we lost a player, we have lost big money."

Cisse was expected to be sold to Marseille for ?8 million (US$14.7 million), but now the club can't sell him -- and use the transfer funds to bolster the team -- since he is sidelined until December.

The FA could still be liable for a multimillion payout to Manchester United should Wayne Rooney suffer an injury, especially since he has only just recovered from a foot injury.

Owen had just returned from his own foot injury suffered in December that limited the ?17 million record Newcastle signing to 11 appearances last season.

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