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Premier League clubs plan overseas games

08 October 2014, 13:20

London- Premier League clubs have discussed playing a regular season round of 10 matches abroad in the future, according to British media reports.

The league's chief executive Richard Scudamore was widely criticised six years ago for a plan to introduce an extra match for each club -- the so-called "39th game" -- at venues in Asia, the United States, Australia and elsewhere.

However, at the start of this season, he claimed clubs still supported the idea.

The new plan, it was reported on Wednesday, would be for one of the existing 38 rounds of 10 fixtures to be played at various venues around the world.

The Times said that the proposal had been discussed at a meeting of Premier League club chairmen and chief executives last month.

Leading English clubs regularly undertake lucrative pre-season tours overseas and since 2003, the Premier League has run a tournament in Asia every other year prior to the new season.

Games in the United States and Asia have proved particularly popular, with almost 110,000 turning up in Michigan to see Manchester United face Real Madrid this year.

Overseas television rights earn the Premier League more than two billion pounds ($3.22 billion) under the current three-year contract, of which almost half comes from Asia.

Read also: Unhappy goalkeeper Cech eyes Chelsea exit

One stepping stone, reports said, was for the annual August Community Shield fixture between the league champions and FA Cup winners to be played overseas, as happens in Italian football.

A Premier League spokesman did not deny the plans had been discussed but said: "There are currently no proposals on the table."

The Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins was reported to have told a supporters' forum last week: "There's definitely going to be a run of games played abroad in 12 months or two years.

"It's a sad reflection of where football is, but unless we are part of that, it's inevitable we are going to fall behind."

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- Reuters


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