Monday, February 11, 2008


Imagine being sat in your living room, watching 'Soccer Saturday', when Jeff Stelling suddenly cries: "There's been a goal in the game between Middlesbrough and Fulham! Let's find out which way it's gone! Over to Chris Kamara at the Al Shaab Stadium in Baghdad."

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking they have had one to many bottles of beer, but as improbable as it seems, this scenario could actually happen.

Well, ok, Iraq maybe pushing it a bit, but a recent proposal by the Premier League has shown that this could be closer to the truth than it would initially seem.

On the February 8th, in a move straight from the NFL playbook, the Premier League revealed that the 20 clubs, that make up the league, have agreed to discuss the possibility of introducing a 39th fixture for all clubs... to be played abroad.

There has been a somewhat mixed reaction to the news with a selection of people backing the idea. Birmingham City co-owner, David Gold, has described the plans as "amazingly exciting". A number of people, such as Wigan boss, Steve Bruce, and Sunderland chairman, Niall Quinn have said that they are open to the idea.

However, there has been an overwhelmingly negative response from the fans, criticising the plans as a way to make yet more money from the cash cow that is the Premier League. A petition against the plans has already been set up at

If they get the go ahead, these plans would be the biggest revolution since BSkyB helped spawn the Premiership in 1992.

Who knows? In the near future you could be boarding the supporters coach with a Tesco bag containing your sandwiches, a can or two, a rolled up copy of the Mirror, your passport and a set of inoculations for various tropical diseases.


1 comment:

123btyson said...

I like the idea of playing games abroad. It is deffinately worth considering. The Premier League is the best league in the world, and it needs to keep evolving to keep it that way. There are plenty of worse things that could happen to the Premier League.

However, the format of it needs a complete rethink. It doesn't seem fair to me that one team will have to play Arsenal, or Man Utd three times, whereas another team will have to play say, Fulham, or Wigan.

Also how one team will be travelling to Beijing, and another to Dublin, does not seem fair.