Premier League moving forward with overseas games

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According to the BBC, at a meeting in London on Thursday, all 20 Premier League clubs agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games. Those 10 extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them. It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other.

Under the proposal, cities such as Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Johannesburg, Dubai and Beijing would stage matches between two Premier League sides. The League have called a news conference for this afternoon where it is expected they will confirm they are to explore the proposal of playing games in some of the world’s largest cities.

From a selfish point of view, I think this is great. I would love to be able to go and watch Manchester United again in Chicago or New York as I’ve done in the past. On an objective level, I think it is an astute move on the part of the league to capitalize on a worldwide base of fans that exists solely through TV and Internet coverage. What better way to solidify that fan base then to bring the live product to them? Within the UK the clubs have reached a saturation point in terms of attracting new supporters so it makes sense to try and broaden their earnings potential.

Not everyone supports the idea and Malcolm Clarke, co-chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, told BBC Sport: “I’m fairly confident in predicting that the overwhelming majority of football supporters will be totally opposed to this proposal. This is yet another case of the Premier League threatening the tradition of our game simply to follow money. The idea that teams can play a league game in a place where their supporters won’t be able to go and watch them will be totally opposed by the vast majority of supporters. What I want to do is put a challenge to the Premier League to abandon this completely if the majority of supporters turn out to be against it.”

If you want to read more opinion, The Gaffer gave his views on this matter when the rumours first surfaced, and our friends over at Soccerlens are also taking a look at this story today.

Do you support this move or are you against it? Make your voice heard through our comments section or in the Soccerlens poll at the end of their article.

10 thoughts on “Premier League moving forward with overseas games”

  1. I think it is well… Fantastic! Unlike the other 456,234 negative posters at the Guardian is wonderful. It makes the Premier League in the best position to be the BEST league by far.

  2. Being an American, I want to see the PL come here. I would go to these games that are being proposed. And I know others who would.

    But I have a major problem with it: the unbalanced scheduling. This isn’t fair. Two matches per team is fair and right. Adding a third match against just one team, possibly Derby on one end or Arsenal on the other, is wrong. ESPECIALLY having it count in the standings. This is just wrong.

    I also worry about the rumored January scheduling for these games. There is already concern over scheduling, and we see teams get completely run out during the holidays. Now a foreign trip gets added to that? Sounds like a receipe for collapse to me.

    I do like the idea of 2 game weekends per host site. Make it a weekend festival instead of just one-offs.

    But honestly, it doesn’t matter. This is inevitable. Hell, they might as well go ahead and say it’s done, otherwise they wouldn’t bother with the announcement.

  3. The venues that will work well for EPL in January:

    Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Los Angeles

    I don’t believe Beijing, Shanghai, or New York (New Jersey) will work for EPL in January because those cities do NOT have domed stadiums.

    The EPL should concentrate most of its “international round” matches in East and Southeast Asia, where they can be played on Saturday and Sunday evening, so that they can be broadcast in the UK around lunch time.

  4. Olivert, I can’t really speak about Beijing or Shanghai, but the EPL can play in New York (more specifically as you mentioned, New Jersey) in January. The weather in that particular area, East Rutherford and North Jersey, is cold in January, but not as much snow as you’d think actually falls there.

    If they can play games in Scotland in January and in the northern cities in England, they can certainly play them in New York.

  5. This league is plenty popular in the US and it’s growing all the time. Based on the number of shirts teams sell in Asia, I’d say they’re not suffering there either.

    While I would love the games to come to me, and I’d line up to buy the tickets if a match were to be held in the Eastern USA – I believe the game is better served and preserved by playing in England. Period.

    20 out 20 clubs have apparently signed on, but just wait until a title is lost over three points when Liverpool has to play Tottenham and Chelsea draws Crystal Palace. Clubs and supporters will scream bloody murder.

    I love the game, and will make the pilgrimage to Old Trafford when I can afford to, but I will go to it so that I can get the full experience.

  6. Moving the English Premier League outside England will make it a circus – fullstop

    I’m from Australia but moving the English Premier League is moving the game away from what makes it great – the atmosphere and the English stadia

    What are the chances USA or Dubai will sing YNWA or Forever Blowing Bubbles etc

    Nothing can beat a trip to Stamford Bridge, Anfield or Old Trafford – playing it in America or Australia will not bring the same feeling

    Searching for extra money despite making loads makes the Premier League the call girl than a football league

  7. Its totally ridiculous to propose a full round of matches in different countries, especially if they’re proposing to have them at the same time. It would be totally pointless to have all 10 games abroad only for 4 being able to be shown on TV. I was opposed at the suggestion on just 1 game being played abroad. The soul of the game is being flushed down the toilet as quickly as those chairmans silk toilet paper! I won’t be surprised if this goes ahead but only a couple of games. Would be very surprised to see all 20 teams of the Premiership have a game abroad. I’m still crossing my fingers and praying that this wont happen though!

  8. Am I the only American who doesn’t think this is such a good idea?

    The Prem wants to do this on one weekend in January — five games on Saturday, five games on Sunday. The teams get the week before and after the trip off. Hope you don’t have to worry about any FA Cup Replays, or else an already congested schedule is going to end up being completely plugged.

    Bottom Line: This is nothing more than a massive money grab by the Premier League. Hope they rig the draw so no one outside of the UK has to fork over big money for Wigan v Derby County.

  9. the whole idea is a scandalous money driven perversion of football, a travesty!! the premier league is English football for the English, while I obviously have no problem whatsoever with an American or Chinaman or anyone gaining pleasure from the beautiful game and have no problem with pre and post season exhibition games (in fact I’d encourage that as a fair way to allow said American or Chinese person to see the clubs in action as I have) it is still the ENGLISH league and already is the best in the world acclaimed across Europe and the wider world, moving it out of England makes it a joke! this is beyond belief! if the fa wants to start a world super league then start one in the vein of the European champions league! the best from each country’s league, not this! the English league has already watered itself down too much by having so few English players (my team, Liverpool fielded a maximum of just 3 in the poor performance against under strength Milan) but this is way too far!

    British citizens sign and get this stupid idea stopped

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