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Premier League boss hasn’t given up on overseas fixtures

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

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has not given up on the idea of Premier League fixtures abroad, the so-called Game 39.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Scudamore said that the Premier League would still like to see an international round of fixtures but that they may be beaten to the idea by the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A:

They’ve all got the international round on the agenda – the Italians, Germans and Spanish are all looking at how to do it. We’d still like to do it, but it’s less likely for us now than it’s ever been. I’d be delighted if another country got there first, as it might make it more likely that we could do it.

When this idea was first floated around 2008, the reaction from fans around the country was overwhelmingly negative. The FSF campaigned against the idea then, and still opposes it now.

Writing in 2008, after Game 39 was defeated, FSF chair Malcolm Clarke said: “We believe that it is quite likely that the Premier League will come forward at some point with further plans to play competitive games abroad.

“If and when that happens, fans can rest assured that we will oppose them again and lead a campaign to stop them.”

It’s a story that just won’t go away – in October 2014 the BBC reported that the Premier League was exploring the idea of having one set of regular fixtures abroad. Once again the idea of potentially huge changes to the game was proposed without consultation with one of the groups who matters most – the fans.

In an extensive interview, Scudamore also claimed that the Premier League was not responsible for the shortcomings of the England in recent tournaments, and added that he would oppose the FA’s push to increase the number of home-grown players in Premier League squads.

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this article.

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