Premier League chiefs ‘reopen talks about playing matches ABROAD’… more than a decade after controversial ‘Game 39’ plans were scrapped due to major backlash from managers and fans
- Premier League shareholders are understood to have met in London last week
- They are keen to keep expanding the competition, especially in foreign markets
- US, China, Brazil, India and Indonesia are believed to be viable potential options
- Richard Scudamore’s ‘Game 39’ plans were scrapped more than a decade ago
- The idea is back on the table months after the European Super League debacle
Premier League chiefs have reportedly reopened discussions about playing matches abroad.
Controversial plans for ‘Game 39’ were scrapped more than a decade ago due to major opposition.
Premier League chiefs have reportedly met to discuss playing competitive matches abroad
The news comes more than a decade after the ‘Game 39’ idea from former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore (pictured above) was scrapped due to major opposition
They were understood to have met at the plush Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, London last week, with exploiting foreign markets ripe for gaining new fans – like the US, Brazil, China, India and Indonesia – thought to be a key aim in the long-term.
A slightly bigger pre-season tournament in America may be a first step, but following on from ‘taking Premier League matches to the world’ being brought up at the AGM in June, competitive matches abroad could be the Premier League’s next move.
A top-flight match outside England would not be on the cards for the next few years but the timing of the proposal is interesting, especially considering the European Super League debacle in April.
Former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore introduced the ‘Game 39’ idea more than a decade ago, proposing an extra round of matches added on to the regular season at five different locations abroad.
England manager Gareth Southgate was one who expressed scepticism regarding ‘Game 39’
Clubs could have earned about £5million per match, but it met opposition or scepticism from managers including Gareth Southgate, Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce, and was panned by fans for prioritising money over supporters.
Those concerns echo opposition to the despised ESL – however, figures including Arsene Wenger, Kevin Keegan, Roy Keane and Avram Grant supported the idea.
Eventually, with objections from FIFA, UEFA and the FA and concerns regarding how it could affect England’s 2018 World Cup bid, it was ditched.
Scudamore, however, said in 2014: ‘It will happen at some point’.