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Premier League games to be played abroad – a good or bad thing

earthx3.jpgHere’s a couple of different reactions from Pies writers to the major news that the Premier League is considering playing some matches overseas. The BBC Sport website reports:

‘At a meeting in London on Thursday, all 20 clubs agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games. Those 10 extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them. It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other.’

Is this a good thing?

YES, says Ollie Irish, Pies Ed…

‘It’s naive for any football fan to believe that this day wouldn’t come. The Premier League is a global brand worth multi-millions. You can’t turn the clock back to the days of muddy shorts and meat pies. We should celebrate the fact that English football is so popular with supporters from every corner of the globe, shouldn’t we? I would never stop anyone in Malaysia, say, wearing the shirt of my club.
The Premier League is sensibly following the example of the NFL, who played their first ever regular season game in London last year. That worked for British fans of American football – the game was massively oversubscribed – but it didn’t dilute the appeal of the game to the traditional gridiron fan in the States. There’s no reason why the same shouldn’t apply to our beautiful game. Spread the love.’
Click below for the other side of the argument…


NO, says Ritch Arrowsmith, writer for Pies and Man United Pies…
‘It’s no surprise that United are one of the clubs that have apparently
agreed to the idea of playing an extra Premier League fixture in a foreign
country, especially as we already lead the way in senseless overseas tours
that are only staged to make money. But, as a fan, I think it’s a terrible
idea.
The club is already recognised as a global brand and shouldn’t need the
extra exposure, especially in the countries suggested to stage the game, in ­
Asia, the Middle East and North America -­ although at least we could count
on the majority of support out there.
We already complain of a congested fixture list in this country without
having to find time to fit in an away fixture at the other side of the
world. What would happen if we had to travel to China on the Saturday with a
European game scheduled for midweek?
And, since none of these suggested countries are especially close, the
traveling is bound to take its toll on the players while changing time
zones, dietary restrictions and different weather conditions away certainly
won’t help either.
There’s also the impact it has on the real supporters, with the Glazers
already fleecing us on ticket prices how is the average fan expected to
afford a long haul flight and accommodation?
It’s all about money and marketing, bywords like overseas saturation and
increased revenue streams, which would no doubt benefit some of the smaller
clubs. But since we’re already established as the richest club in the
world, I think we should just concentrate on winning games and leave the
rest to the NFL.’

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By Ollie Irish on February 7th, 2008 in Transfers & Rumours. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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