Dein: Inquiry crucial to Premiership credibility

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein claims Lord Stevens’ corruption inquiry is a vital necessity to maintain the Premiership’s position as the richest and most popular league in the world.

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein claims Lord Stevens’ corruption inquiry is a vital necessity to maintain the Premiership’s position as the richest and most popular league in the world.

Dein was appointed as chairman of G14 on Wednesday, the grouping of elite European clubs, a position that will put him at the forefront of club-versus-country disputes.

Dein confirmed he would support Newcastle’s claim for compensation for Michael Owen’s injury in the World Cup, but also stressed the immediate task for English football was to prove itself willing to tackle allegations of corruption.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “Since the Premier League started, we have seen a huge change. When I came into the game, England were probably number six or seven in the world in terms of sales and profile overseas.

“Now the Premiership is head and shoulders above any other league at the moment – likewise with the amount of money we generate domestically.

“With all of this popularity and money, there comes problems and these have got to be dealt with. They will be and the fact the Premier League decided they were comfortable to have an inquiry tells you a lot. Whatever comes out of it, we will deal with.

“Maybe other leagues in due course, if they feel the issue needs investigating, will do the same.”

Dein is also a Football Association councillor but his new role as head of G14 could put him on a collision course with the national association in areas such as clubs being paid compensation when players are on international duty, and especially when they are injured during internationals.

G14 are currently backing court cases against FIFA brought by Belgian side Charleroi, over an injury suffered by Moroccan Abdelmajid Oulmers, and Lyon, after defender Eric Abidal broke his foot playing for France.

Newcastle are threatening to sue the FA and FIFA over Owen’s injury during the World Cup, which is likely to keep him out for a year, and Dein said he would back the Magpies’ right to take the matter to court but said he would use his new role to seek a compromise.

He added: “We have got the Michael Owen issue where he has been injured in the World Cup and could be out for a whole year. In our case, we had Philippe Senderos injured in the World Cup and we haven’t seen him play for Arsenal this season and we are already in October.

“The G14 will back Newcastle and support them and I hope they would support Arsenal if we decided to do something over Senderos. Why shouldn’t we?

“In what other industry would you allow your employees to go to someone else and then be off for a length of time because effectively they were on secondment to someone else?”

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