Europe’s biggest clubs may refuse to release their players for international matches,according to Arsenal’s vice-chairman David Dein.
In a BBC documentary entitled ‘Football: Club Or Country?’ to be screened tonight, the Highbury chief said he expected “a revolution” within the next year in the way international football is organised.
“We pay the players, we are in command of the players’ salaries,” Dein told the documentary.
“They work for us first and foremost. We are happy to release them but under reasonable circumstances.
“I think within the next 12 months we will see a total revolution when it comes to the fixture calendar – there has to be.
“If it doesn’t you’ll find that the clubs will flex their muscles and say we are not going to release our players.
“Last year we put a petition to the French federation through our federation and to FIFA that we felt it was grossly unfair that our players should be released to go to Chile and to Australia in the middle of the season.
“Unfortunately, the laws were that we have to (release them). But there is a campaign and a groundswell of discontent that we have to put a stop to it and we’re getting to that point now.
“It is coming to a head because we are seeing that the players are coming back from international duty tired.
“Quite apart from the fact that the clubs don’t get paid for the services when they are being used by someone else.
“I think all national associations should contribute in some shape or form towards the salaries of the players they are using.
“Some of those associations can’t afford to,but who has got the money? It’s the organisations that actually control the matches – which is either FIFA or UEFA
But FIFA president Blatter told the programme that his organisation is attemtping to reconcile the conflicting interests of club and country.
“What we have to do is to find a solution where the interests of the national team are respecting the interests of the clubs, but also the clubs shall respect the interest and aspirations of national teams,” said Blatter.