Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has hit back at new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.  The businessman made comments on Tuesday about Americanizing the Premier League by introducing an All-Star game and even suggested a playoff system to determine which teams are relegated from England’s top flight.

“Ultimately, I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,” claimed Boehly.  “MLB did their all-star game in L.A. this year. We made $200 million from a Monday and a Tuesday.”

Gary Neville: US investors represent danger to English soccer

Neville responded with a scathing assessment not only just on Boehly, but all American owners in the league.

“I keep saying it but the quicker we get the Regulator in the better,” Neville wrote on social media.  “US investment into English football is a clear and present danger to the pyramid and fabric of the game.  They just don’t get it and think differently.  They also don’t stop till they get what they want!”

Earlier this year, the U.K. government made plans to introduce an independent regulator in the sport to help give the fans more of a voice.  The Premier League disagreed on the necessity to use a regulator.  Nevertheless, plans are slowly moving ahead.  It remains to be seen if and when these regulators will be implemented, but they may apparently sanction clubs and even give out an ‘integrity test’ for prospective owners.

Deja vu for those following developments in England

Neville’s comments are reminiscent of how outspoken he was against the English clubs who tried to launch a Super League last year. The common thread between the idea of The Super League and Boehly’s ideas is a sense of greed.

While Boehly’s comments were foolish and odd, none of his suggestions have been applied to the league.  One owner does not have the power to make drastic changes in the sport.  Premier League fans would only have to worry about alterations if more club owners agreed to make the changes.

However, the fear among many (Neville included) is that foreign owners of Premier League clubs don’t understand the culture, history or tradition of English football. Boehly suggesting a north versus south all-star game is ridiculous, and it only shows how out of touch he is with English soccer. For instance, imagine a team of the north featuring Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United footballers, and what the reaction would be from supporters who were expected to support that team.

Boehly became the ninth American owner in the Premier League when he purchased Chelsea this summer.  However, American owners of Leeds and West Ham currently do not have a majority stake in their clubs.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images