Foreign games plan back on

The Premier League has revived plans to play matches overseas.  When the idea of a ’39th game’ was mooted six years ago, it encountered considerable resistance.   The acceptance of NFL and NBA games being played in London has helped to bring the idea back to the table.

The Premier League has revived plans to play matches overseas.  When the idea of a ’39th game’ was mooted six years ago, it encountered considerable resistance.   The acceptance of NFL and NBA games being played in London has helped to bring the idea back to the table.

However, the idea of an additional match has been dropped.  Rather, the plan now is to play one or two of the existing rounds of matches in cities around the world to cater for and boost the Premier League’s global audience.  £2.1bn of the Premier League’s current £5.5bn television revenue is contributed by overseas broadcasters.

Late November or early December has been suggested as a possible time for the overseas round. Among the locations mentioned for matches are New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Sydney and Melbourne.   The clubs that got sent to Australia would have been drawn the short straw. Advantage would be taken of the different time zones to play the matches in sequence.

A weaker proposal would be to expand the Premier League’s existing annual Asia Trophy which is played pre-season.   It has also been suggested that the Community Shield between the winners of the league and the FA Cup could be played abroad rather than at Wembley.

It is believed that this time the proposal will go through and matches abroad could start as early as the new broadcast deal which begins in the 2016-17 season.

The plan has been linked with the revival of the winter break although that would depend on making the league cup semi-final a single leg affair and, more controversially, getting rid of FA Cup replays.

1 thought on “Foreign games plan back on”

  1. Think these are fantastic

    Think these are fantastic ideas. Worth atleast trialling for a season before implementing permanently, though

    Reply

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