It’s the time of the year when the Premiership clubs begin announcing dates for their preseason friendlies. In the United States, of course, we’re keeping our eyes out for matches involving English teams coming here. But, so far, the majority of teams are focusing their efforts on the Far East in lieu of the States.
Previously, EPL Talk revealed that it’s very unlikely that Man United will tour America this summer. United has scheduled friendlies throughout the Far East between July 17 and July 27, although their match against a Malaysian XI on July 27 is in jeopardy.
Liverpool, Portsmouth and Fulham, meanwhile, have announced their they’ll be competing in the Hong Kong FA Cup tournament between July 24-27 in Hong Kong. Liverpool will play the winner of the Hong Kong FA Cup on July 24, while Fulham is scheduled to play against Portsmouth that same day. The winners of those matches will then play in the final on July 27.
All matches will be screened by Sky, which means that Setanta, Fox Soccer Channel or GolTV may be interested in purchasing the TV rights to these friendlies.
Another Premiership club will be playing in the Far East. This time it’s Reading, who is scheduled to play in the Peace Cup in South Korea between July 12 and July 21. In 2005, Tottenham Hotspur won the annual tournament.
Why the Far East, you may ask? The market potential for Premiership clubs in Asia is massive. The English clubs are attracted to the large population and will be hoping that the tour will attract new fans and sponsors, thus guaranteeing the clubs more revenue.