Bellamy set to face Italy

Last updated : 02 September 2003 By Martyn Elliott

You can fully understand why Bellamy wants to play in such an important game for his national side, but his appearance so soon after missing a series of important games for us is annoying to say the least.

I have some sympathy with the situation that the player finds himself in during this club versus country row, but as the FAW aren’t the ones playing Bellamy’s reported £37,000 per week salary I also have to question why all the rules favour the national association.

Does the massive investment in transfer fees, wages and training made by the clubs not entitle them to some say when it comes to deciding whether or not their players are available for international duty?

Remember the reason Bellamy has missed the last three games is that he sustained an injury playing for Wales against Serbia & Montenegro, but as far as I’m aware the club has neither asked for nor received any compensation for his absence.

In what other field of business would you find companies loaning valuable assets out for free while not expecting to receive any recompense if they are returned damaged?

Hopefully Bellamy will help Wales clinch qualification for Euro 2004 and return fit and raring to go for the trip to Everton, but if that isn’t the case then there will be no point seeking any comeback from the FAW as their attitude appears totally unreasonable.