Denmark without its big stars? New bonus deal could see them refuse to play
When Denmark plays the USA in a friendly in Aarhus next month, it could be without star players Christian Eriksen, Daniel Agger and Nicklas Bendtner in the starting eleven.
Such is the predicament DBU currently faces following a breakdown in negotiations with the players over a new bonus agreement for the period 2015-2018.
“It is a regrettable situation we find ourselves in,” said the head of DBU, Claus Bretton-Meyer.
“DBU hopes for a good, fair deal for all parties so we together can create great results for the national team.”
The previous deal, which saw players bag a bonus in the region of 40-50,000 kroner per game each, expired last year and negotiations have been ongoing since last summer.
Economy to blame
Poor financial results in 2013-14 have subsequently forced DBU to decrease the overall amount of money on offer by 17 percent. The decision led to Spillerforeningen, the football players' union, pulling out of negotiations.
Instead, DBU wrote directly to 40-60 players within the national pool, enquiring about their availability for games over the next six months.
By circumventing Spillerforeningen, DBU hoped the honour of playing for one’s country would outweigh the financial gains.
”We still wish to honour players with a fair remuneration for playing for the national team,” continued Bretton-Meyer. “But our financial situation is under pressure and we would also like to prioritise other important areas.”
New faces imminent?
The players have been given a deadline of March 2 to reply and DBU has conceded manager Morten Olsen will be forced to field a squad of lesser known players if big names like Eriksen refuse to agree to the new terms.
Bretton-Meyer spoke to reporters at a press conference yesterday. “It [being without star players] is a situation we may end up in. Morten Olsen wishes to field the best possible squad, but if certain players don’t wish to play, we will find others.”
The Danish national team will play three friendlies and an important Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia in the upcoming months.
Bonuses from the previous agreement are outlined here (NB: Page is in Danish).