Denmark fixtures in jeopardy due to dispute between players and DBU

Ireland’s Uefa Nations League opponents at loggerheads over commercial rights deal

Denmark’s Thomas Delaney and Christian Eriksen. The Danish Players Association are in a dispute with the DBU over a new commercial rights agreement. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Denmark’s Thomas Delaney and Christian Eriksen. The Danish Players Association are in a dispute with the DBU over a new commercial rights agreement. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Denmark’s games against Slovakia and Wales this week have been thrown into chaos following a dispute between the Danish players and their Football Association, the DBU.

The Denmark squad — which features English-based players such as Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel — have been at loggerheads for several months over a new commercial rights agreement.

The issue reached crisis point on Sunday night when the deadline set for a new deal passed without any agreement.

The Danish Player Association, known as Spillerne, responded by announcing they will try to “save” Wednesday’s friendly against Slovakia and the Uefa Nations League opener with Wales on Sunday by offering to temporarily extend the old deal.

But the DBU could now field an entirely domestic-based squad to ensure the games go ahead, thus avoiding the prospect of a Uefa ban that could see them removed from the 2020 European Championship.

In a strongly-worded statement, Spillerne said the DBU had not wanted to negotiate with them over the weekend.

“The players are surprised that the DBU has discontinued the negotiations,” it said.

“There is currently no agreement between the DBU and the Player Association for the national team players, and it has always been established that the national team does not play without a collective agreement.

“However, as the Player Association has not succeeded in luring DBU to the negotiating table either Saturday or Sunday, players now try to save the two national matches against Slovakia and Wales in the coming week with a new offer to temporarily extend the old deal.”

Denmark reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer before losing to eventual finalists Croatia on a penalty shoot-out.

Age Hareide’s side are a lofty ninth in the Fifa rankings, but Danish football has been beset by internal problems over the past 12 months.

The national women’s team boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in October 2017 in a dispute over employment conditions.

Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win and Uefa fined the DBU £18,000.

The DBU was also warned that Denmark would be barred from Uefa tournaments if it cancelled another match in the next four years.

FC Copenhagen midfielder William Kvist, who is part of the Player Association’s negotiating team, told the official Spillerne website: “We players will do anything to play so we would like to offer DBU to extend the old deal until October 1st, 2018 with a view to finalising a new collective national team agreement.

“So we can play the two national matches under orderly conditions, and afterwards there will be plenty of time to negotiate a new deal in place.

“The old deal has been working for four years, so you can not work for a month. Then we have made extra time and we think our proposal can save the international matches.

“We find it strange that DBU chose to stop the negotiations. But we think of the whole of Danish football from the smallest to the biggest and will do everything for Danish football to not suffer under the big consequences of cancelled matches.”

DBU president Jesper Moller was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “It is regrettable and serious that there is no new national team agreement.

“The crucial thing is now that the two national matches will be played.

“The board has therefore asked DBU’s management that the two international matches will be played with the strongest possible team.

“Otherwise, we risk major fines and possible exclusion from Uefa.”

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