Premier League Chief Still Wants 39th Game Played Abroad

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, has reaffirmed his will for a 39th round of Premier League fixtures to be played abroad.

The idea drew a lot of criticism from the media and from fans when it was first proposed in 2008, but Scudamore has told the BBC that he and Premier League clubs would still be in favor of the move.

Scudamore, speaking at the official launch of the 2014/15 Premier League season, said: “The clubs wanted it then and they all would still probably want it now.

“It will happen at some point – whether it is on my watch, who knows?”

He has, however, noted that clubs do regularly travel the world on pre-season tours without the back drop of the Premier League and has said that having a 39th round of fixtures may not have much benefit over what is already the norm. This summer, records were broken as 109,318 flocked to Michigan to see Manchester United play Real Madrid.

On this, Scudamore said:”What has been interesting over the summer, particularly in the US, watching those audiences, you could argue that we don’t need to do it [bring in the 39th game].

“To get 102,000 [sic] to what we would call a pre-season friendly – you wouldn’t get more even if there was three points, six points, or even nine points riding on that particular game.”

Scudamore spoke publicly for the first time since being criticized over alleged sexist remarks in emailed he had sent. He took the time to defend the Premier League as the finest league in the world, despite global stars like Luis Suarez and James Rodriguez joining Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Spain’s La Liga.

“The fact of the matter is we have got the most competitive league.

“The way we we distribute the TV rights to all the clubs, the way me make every club able to compete is very, very different to how they do it in other leagues – particularly in Spain.

“I would far rather have a league where we are talking about five, six, maybe seven teams that can possibly come and challenge to win the title.

“In Spain, it’s not quite the same in terms of strength in depth.”

Scudamore did also apologize for his emails that appeared to undermine the women’s game, saying: “We don’t see a gender split at all in terms of football.”

You can follow Jordan Willis on Twitter @JMWillis01

11 thoughts on “Premier League Chief Still Wants 39th Game Played Abroad”

    1. You’re being sarcastic, but you stumbled on a great idea without realizing it.

      Stoke vs Sunderland in Orlando would be better since the president and primary owner of Orlando City is also a part-owner of Stoke City. Plus Tony Pulis’s son plays for Orlando. On top of that, Sunderland would get a large crowd to cheer on Florida-boy Jozy Altidore.

  1. Scudamore is a clown – you would think he could figure out a way to talk confidently about the EPL without trying to down other leagues.

    1. The NFL & NBA are barging into the UK market by playing regular season games there, so why shouldn’t the EPL do likewise in the USA?

  2. It is feasible, just no more league cup for the Premier League clubs. They are already stretched enough between the UEFA competitions and all those players that are internationals in their own countries.

    How about this idea that has been floating around in other European leagues, Allow flex scheduling for the last ten weeks of the season so the top ten clubs would in essence battle for the Premier League title and European placement.

  3. The traditionalists and English fans will hate it, but it makes sense. Remember there are more foreign fans of English teams than English people so why not do it. The Premier League is the only league with a global interest in the league itself so would sell out competitive games in every continent. La Liga interested is based just on individual players, Italy around a few clubs and other European leagues don’t carry that interest.

    When English clubs are losing their best players to teams that earn less actually money, then you need to do something to compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona’s unfair 50% TV deal. UEFA are the group most against this idea, yet they stand by and do nothing to Real and Barcelona with regards to their unfair funding that allows them to build superstar teams they don’t have the money to buy and punish teams like Man City for spending money they do have. UEFA have always been anti-english.

  4. Start with the community shield and go from there. The only thing I’d consider introducing from the NFL Is having the bye week in the schedule.

    The EPL will never do the winter break but if they could somehow make sure every team got a bye week between the end of the Xmas schedule and mid feb it would set things up nicely for the title run in.

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