Is it time to punish teams that cripple with financial penalties?

By Graham McNorthbank

There's not really much to say about the challenge that will see Aaron Ramsey in the treatment room for the majority of 2010. The BBC did well on Saturday night to freeze frame the moment of impact and while it did not look malicious, that is immaterial given the damage it did.

But beause footballers - even teenage ones - can be on such massive wages these days, I'd like to sound you all out on a proposed solution that might work both on a domestic and international level - compensation.

Being Arsenal fans we all know about Robin van Persie getting injured season after season while on international duty for Holland. So why not introduce a culture where clubs are compensated for the financial loss of paying a player who is on £3-4 million a year while he isn't available for selection.

It's often the case that the player who is injured as the result of a foul is the victim of a far less talented - and therefore lower earning player. That patently was the case for Ramsey on Saturday. So to suggest that the opposition player should pay simply does not work.

My solution would be that Stoke should then have to pay Ramsey's wages until he is fit for selection again.

That sort of policy would have clubs thinking twice about sending their players out on hatchet jobs. It could also be insured against and would mean that the teams who consistently try to kick their opponents off the park would have to pay the highest premiums.

And of course, the most talented players in the game would be better protected, especially if clubs could pass on some of the financial burden to the guilty players by way of fines. I wonder if Tony Pulis would have been so quick to condemn Arsene Wenger's view of Ryan Shawcross if Stoke then had to pay Ramsey's wages and medical fees for the forseeable future?!

The bottom line with Ramsey is that Arsenal now have a player who in all reality we won't see featuring for the firstteam until 2011. But at the same time the club has to pay the young man's wages, tying up funds that could be used to bring in a replacement.

A culture where the culpable club - be that Stoke or Holland or even Arsenal if one of our players inflicted such an injury on an opponent - would be obliged to pay for a player's full rehabilitation could effectively clean up the game and make moments such as the one that crippled Ramsey on Saturday or Eduardo two years ago, a thing of the past.

It goes without saying that us Addicts wish Aaron Ramsey a full and speedy recovery, but having seen the way that such incidents can disrupt a team's prospects, it would be good to hear some feedback from you Gooners - and indeed fans of other clubs - about a solution that could bring such career threatening challenges to an end. Surely the time for such discussions is now rather than waiting for others to suffer similar injuries...