During the last international break, the Danish football squad was at the middle of an almighty drama.
The squad were in a commercial disagreement with the country’s football association which related to the share of revenues and freedom for players to take on sponsorships even if they directly competed against those of the national team.
An alternative squad was called up for the country’s first match of the last break, made up of lower league players and some of the country’s futsal team.
Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was one of the leaders on the playing side, and he’s spoken to the Danish media this week.
Prior to that, the Denmark squad sent out an open letter putting things straight as they saw it, and it’s not gone down universally well. It’s therefore no surprise that Schmeichel was questioned about it, something which clearly irritated him.
Denmark’s TV2 quote the Leicester player as saying: “I think the letter explains itself fairly well. I do not have much more to say about it, we are here to play football. If you have read the letter, I think you will understand why we have sent it out.
“You can continue digging and digging, but we are thinking forward. We cannot spend more time talking about the past, now it’s only about football. We cannot use the past for anything. We can only look forward, because the future is the only thing we can influence.”
Understandably, the media aren’t thrilled.
TV2’s Flemming Toft is quoted as saying: “It is very unusual for players to send an open letter in this way. It has not been seen before. The letter is primarily a whitewash of the players themselves and of the director of the Player Association, Mads Øland. As well as a criticism of the media and a hand put out to the fans.
“You can also say that there is a hidden criticism of DBU in the letter, without the players mentioning it directly. They praise themselves and what they have received, including donations to children’s football and the creation of hybrid cars. But, for example, there is no “thanks to DBU for a good negotiation process” or anything else.”
To try and turn the mess of the last international on the media is a bit much from the leaders of Denmark’s squad, and it’s also a bit much for Schmeichel to be so dismissive.
There’s a clear taste of arrogance, but it seems the players feel they can put a new slant on things and try and get fans back on side by laying the blame everywhere else.