Gill expects authorities to pay out in club versus country row

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The Independent Online

United and their counterparts in G14 - the élite group of European clubs - are currently backing a court case brought by the Belgian club Charleroi, who are seeking compensation for the eight-month absence of Abdelmajid Oulmers after he tore ankle ligaments on international duty for Morocco.

The move has annoyed the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, who has insisted clubs should not be paid to release players and has called on the Belgian FA to take sanctions against Charleroi. However, Gill believes the clubs have a cast-iron case for compensation, arguing that competitions such as the World Cup and European Championship generate vast amounts of profit yet pay nothing for the stars to participate.

"We have to come to an agreement," Gill said. "It may take time and it may involve some gnashing of teeth but we will get there in the end. The issue does not just involve big clubs and it is not an attack on the international game because we want players to represent their countries.

"But tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship generate a billion Swiss francs yet the authorities get to use the assets who provide that income for free. There should be compensation for every club who provides players."

Gill claims United need to use their history and heritage in their efforts to lure new players to Old Trafford. United have been ousted from their position as England's wealthiest club by Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich can outbid any rival in pursuit of top talent. "We have to sell the strengths of Manchester United," Gill said.

* England's dismal defeat by Northern Ireland last week has cost their place in the top 10 of the Fifa rankings. Losing 1-0 in Belfast saw Sven Goran Eriksson's side slip from seventh to 11, with Northern Ireland up 15 places to 101. Similarly, Scotland's fine draw with Italy and win over Norway in the World Cup qualifiers saw them rise 12 places to 74. The Republic of Ireland fell seven places to 21, while Wales are up one to 82.

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