SHAY GIVEN WANTS the Irish players, fans and the media to concentrate on ‘the feel good’ factor ahead of Euro 2012 and says bonuses have never been an issue.
Fellow Irish international Liam Lawrence has been talking about his willingness to fight for payments due to the team from the FAI for achieving qualification to this year’s European Championships in the media this week.
The Portsmouth winger wasn’t called up for the friendly against the Czech Republic next week and may struggle to get back into future squads due to the emergence of the likes of James McClean and Seamus Coleman.
When the question came up during Given’s meeting with members of the press yesterday, the Aston Villa star tried not to dwell on the subject but stated in no uncertain terms that the idea of representing his country for financial gain is nonsense.
“I’ve never once played for Ireland for money,” Given said. “There will be ‘x’ amount due because we qualified but as far as I’m aware there are no rows or arguments over it. There’s an offer but I don’t think it’s a big issue or a problem at all.
If we didn’t get a penny or got hundreds of millions of pounds it wouldn’t make a difference, we’re all going to be representing our country at Poland whatever happens. I think everything else is nonsense.”
It may be an easier stance to take today than in past generations as Premier League footballer’s receive salaries which dwarf the ones their predecessors got but Ireland’s most capped player insisted that it would not have made any odds.
“I’m sure if you asked the guys in ’88 they would’ve been extremely proud to walk out in an Irish jersey either way. Playing for Ireland has never been about money for me and it never will be. I don’t think it should be for any player or any nation for that matter.”
Given also emphasised the importance of not getting bogged down by trivial aspects of the game and called on the nation to get behind the team in the run-up to the finals.
“Some players might have said this or that but as far as I’m concerned we’re all in it together and that includes the media as well,” he added.
“We’ve got to try not to have anything negative around the set-up because the feel good factor is coming back into Irish football and we should keep pushing it that way.”
Carlsberg, official beer to the Irish football team and UEFA Euro 2012TM, have announced that Republic of Ireland Goalkeeper Shay Given will be their new UEFA Euro 2012 Ambassador. Check out the Carlsberg Ireland Football Facebook page for a chance to win prizes and special access to the UEFA EURO trophy and exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ content from the YBIG trip to Poland and the Republic of Ireland camp.