Little sympathy for Ashton if he takes legal action
The last thing England need is players suing over training ground tackles before the World Cup
Sympathy for Dean Ashton will be in short supply if the West Ham forward decides to sue Shaun Wright-Phillips over the training-ground tackle that has forced him to retire at the age of 26.
Ashton finally bowed to the inevitable on Friday, more than three years he sustained the injury, and announced he was quitting the game.
Although player-v-player legal action is not unprecedented, what would make Ashton's case particularly unpalatable is the fact that the incident occured while the two players were training together while on England duty.
A messy legal row between two supposed team-mates, one of whom is still an international, would not be the sort of World Cup preparation England manager Fabio Capello would have in mind.
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, said he hoped the matter could be resolved without legal action. "I hope it doesn't come to that because nobody would think that Shaun Wright-Phillips was a malicious player at all," he said.
"At the moment we've been speaking to his representatives and the situation is about looking to get proper compensation without discussing any player-v-player action."
What Ashton would get out of any legal action is also debateable. He is set to receive around £3m in compensation from West Ham – a year's wages – and the PFA will offer him the chance to stay in the game.
“There's a whole host of opportunities really if he wants to stay connected,” said Taylor.
For their part West Ham may seek compensation of around £7m from the FA - the amount Ashton was insured for and the amount they payed his former club Norwich for his services. ·
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