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Premier League and the 39th Step: Pure Greed or Pure Genius?

premierleague Premier League and the 39th Step: Pure Greed or Pure Genius?With the G14 recently being disbanded, the timing of the Premier League’s announcement regarding expansion of the league into overseas markets is a perfect marketing ploy. While talk of a European Super League has died down, the Premier League – if the proposal passes – would supersede the concept of the European Super League.

After all, why focus on just Europe when the Premier League could “rule” the world instead — albeit with teams comprised from England and not foreign soil?

If the Premier League gets the proposal passed and the 2010/2011 experiment is considered a success, where does the Premier League go from there?

Expect the Premier League to do additional research to see which markets, regions or cities around the world would be the next destinations for the 2011/2012 season. Expect a regular rotation with some cities remaining “permanent” overseas hosts such as Hong Kong.

If the league’s overseas experiment continued to be a consistent success over the first two seasons, you can expect to see the number of matches played overseas increased from 10 to 20. I don’t foresee the league expanding past that. Otherwise they’d be crucified in the UK press and by the public.

With the Premier League and its 20 clubs, they’re all in for the money and nothing else. By shaking up the system and becoming open to playing one round of games overseas, they’re making waves in the world of advertising. By taking the Premier League of today to the international Premier League of 2010/2011, the league will be able to generate more money from advertisers. After all, their brand will be seen by more people overseas as interest in the league continues to grow in those countries.

Playing matches overseas will also create interest in acquiring TV rights to the league in those foreign countries. You can expect more TV companies to be interested in bidding on the rights, which means the league will be able to generate even more TV revenue for its clubs.

While the league has been chastised for even considering the proposal to play matches overseas (now commonly referred to as the 39th step), you have to give credit to the Premier League if you’re a businessman or marketer. If you’re a football fan, you probably hate the idea. But from a marketing and business perspective, the moves they’re making are pure genius.

In the meantime, the Football Supporters’ Federation has created an online petition against the Premier League proposal. If you agree with the FSF, sign the petition today.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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