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NO GO: Premier League 39th game plans up in smoke

 

The Premier League has no plans to play competitive matches abroad and add further matches to the seasons calendar.

Reports had suggested top-flight clubs were working on a long-term plan that had playing Premier League games overseas as its ultimate goal, effectively resurrecting the ’39th game’ proposals which surfaced in 2008.

Despite a number of top clubs voicing support for the idea, with the potential to open up new marketing and broadcast revenues internationally, there was widespread condemnation of the idea by FIFA, supporter groups, and most managers.

It is understood  that both the league and clubs now stand against the plans and are only looking at ways to make pre-season fixtures overseas more meaningful, with the discussions forming part of the league’s strategic review.

The review had been ongoing when the Project Big Picture proposals emerged almost a year ago, but was committed to all by 20 clubs last October when PBP was rejected.

The Premier League has staged the Asia Trophy on a biennial basis since 2003, and the league is understood to be looking at whether similar competitions could be held in other parts of the world over the summer.

Ideas behind taking the English game abroad have drifted across from America and the NFL, with the American Football competition often staging an 'international stages' where matches are played in the UK.


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