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Premier League abroad: the idea that won’t go away

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

It’s the story that just won’t go away – today Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has once again said its member clubs still want a competitive overseas fixture.

With monotonous regularity, this idea of a competitive round of Premier League fixtures abroad appears almost every summer.

The idea first emerged as “Game 39” back in 2008 and the reaction from match-going fans around the country was incredibly hostile, rightly so, in our opinion.

We organised a national campaign against the idea back then and vowed that if the Premier League ever tried to resurrect the idea in any concrete way, that we would lead a campaign against it once more.

An overseas fixture would devalue the competitive nature of the league – with 10 teams losing their home advantage for one match. How would a relegation or title decider in Hong Kong feel compared to home soil?

Match-going fans who’ve paid for their season tickets and pride themselves on never missing a game would be facing huge additional cost, possibly running into the thousands of pounds, to see their teams play – in unfamiliar grounds out of place in the English footballing tradition.

Supporters at home can see no solution, such as travel subsidies or cheap tickets, that would make overseas fixtures workable for them. The FSF will remain vigilant on this issue and will always be ready to mobilise against any proposals for games abroad.

Thanks to Action Images for the picture used in this post.

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