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Clubs want more say in running England team

© Reuters 2002

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The English premier league denied they wanted to take over the running of the England team on Friday but said they wanted a greater say in the administration of the national side.

"It is common knowledge there are constructive discussions going on with the FA (English Football Association) on a range of issues," the premier league said in a statement.

"This is about working within the FA to reach an agreement on having a greater say on how things are organised in matters affecting our competition, not about taking them over."

Newspaper reports claimed the 20 top-flight clubs want to take full control of the England team.

For years, clubs have complained about 'meaningless' friendly internationals which tire out their players and expose them to the risk of injury.

The commercial exploitation of players on international duty has also been a bone of contention and there have been calls for the clubs to be re-imbursed when players team up with England.

"As the players are ours, surely it makes sense for the premier league to run the England team," an unidentified club chairman was quoted as saying in The Sun.

"This is a serious state of affairs and the FA cannot see it," the chairman was quoted as saying.

"The (premier league) chairmen have never been so angry. The time for change is coming and something will have to give."

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