International Duty Becomes A Little Less Onerous For The Blues

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 01: Michel Platini, FIFA Vice President looks on during the 61st FIFA Congress at Hallenstadion on June 1, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

News ahoy out of UEFA as European football's governing body has reached a new agreement with the clubs, one that will see teams compensated more fairly for the participation of their players in international tournaments. UEFA is set to shell out €100M - total, not each - to teams who send participants to the 2012 European Championships, and that number will increase to €150M for Euro 2016. What does that mean for Chelsea? Let's do some back of the envelope guesstimating.

There will be 31 games (or 32 if there's a third place match, which I don't think there is) played at Euro 2012, with a squad of 23 players available to each team participating. With 46 players for each match, we end up with 100M for 46 * 31 = 1426 player-games, which is how I'd imagine UEFA will break up the money. That all boils down to €70,000 to the clubs per player per match which*... well, it's not really much, from Chelsea's perspective. I'd guess we're probably looking at about 30 player-matches all told, although obviously I don't know who'll be going to the tournament or how far they'll get, and that brings us to around €2M for the Blues. I'll take it.

*Although it looks like there'll be a huge increase for Euro 2016, there could actually be nearly double the player-matches as UEFA switch to a 24-team tournament, depending on the format used, so the compensation per player match could actually decrease in four years' time.

That's not all that's contained in the 2012-2018 Memorandum of Understanding. Here are the other highlights:

  • Insurance. UEFA will now medically insure players participating in official tournaments and international friendlies, with FIFA expected to take over at some point soon. This doesn't mean a club will be compensated for the loss of a player to injury during an international match, but it does mean that clubs won't be forced to pay the medical bills of those hurt while with their country.
  • Good Governance / club representation in decision-making process. UEFA is no longer able to change the format of the Champions League or Europa League without the clubs' consent. More club power! Hopefully this won't be used for evil (it probably will).
  • International Calendar. UEFA will support a calendar proposed to FIFA which will strip out many of the international friendly weeks in the calendar, cutting them down to nine over a two-year period and getting rid of the August friendlies. That's still too many for my liking, but less international friendly matches means better rested players and a more sensible domestic schedule. I like.

All positive moves as far as Chelsea are concerned. I like international football plenty, but seeing the clubs have to bear the burden for producing and maintaining players only to have them get hurt/tired playing with their national teams has long been a pet peeve, so I'm glad steps are being taken to make it a little fairer. Yay UEFA!

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