PREMIER LEAGUE

Premier League plans overseas games as Super League alternative

According to The Athletic, Premier League club chiefs are eyeing staging competitive games in the USA, China, India, Brasil or Indonesia to attract fans.

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Premier League plans overseas games as Super League alternative
DYLAN MARTINEZ REUTERS

The Premier League is still looking to bridge more borders in its search for a wider global audience and following the failure of a breakaway European Super League involving the “big six” clubs in the division – Manchesters City and United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – the eyes of Premier League chiefs have once again alighted on the idea of staging competitive matches abroad in some context. Representatives of the Premier League clubs met in London last week to discuss the issue and have decided on certain markets, including the USA, Brazil, China, India and Indonesia to potentially host matches at some point in the future, according to a report in The Athletic.

After the news was published the Premier League moved to ensure supporters that there are currently no-plans to stage in-season competitive games in other countries, but ideas on the table include a pre-season tournament, along the lines of the International Champions Cup, to be staged in the US and further down the line games of a “meaningful or competitive nature” could be staged abroad. In the medium term, the move is seen as a response to the threat of a Super League, which is still being pursued by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, despite the retraction of all the other clubs involved in the 12-team breakaway attempt.

Premier League "39th game" reignited

How long it will be until fans in those markets can expect to see Premier League teams line up on their home turf remains to be seen, but the issue is on the table. The proposal is really a rehash of former Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore’s “39th game” idea from 2008, which was based around playing an extra game each season in five different countries around the world with the clubs earning five million each for the sojourn. UEFA, FIFA and the English FA were all opposed to the idea, but as Scudamore said at the time: “It will happen one day.”