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Selling its Soul to the Devil !

I suppose it was inevitable in its own way. As each of our clubs continues to be seduced by the Premier League`s billions new avenues for expanding revenue streams are always top of the agenda.

Now that we have yet another record breaking TV deal where next? Never an organisation to miss a trick, the Premier League is now looking to matches being hosted on foreign shores.

Structured over one weekend, all Premier League clubs would play an extra game across a series of countries with all teams drawn at random but with the top five being seeded. The points would be counted towards a 39 game Premier League season.

What an utter load of garbage. Talk about selling your soul to the devil. The only places where this ridiculous idea would prove popular is in the Premier League chairmen`s wallets and in the countries where games were to be hosted.

And what of the real supporters? Those that spend fortunes week in week out to follow their club`s around the country. Like re-scheduled games and exorbitant pricing have proven they don`t really matter.

You may ask what gives a Manchester City supporter, especially one who welcomed the intervention of Thaksin Shinawatra at his club, the right to speak out about club`s selling out. Well I`m sorry but when the very existence of my club was in question hypocrisy today is the least of my worries.

This proposal however should send shockwaves through all of the club`s supporters. If the idea gets off the ground and is a success what next? Two, three or four games a season in Hong Kong or Thailand? Half a season in the US? The potential for screwing us the supporter is endless.

And what of the integrity of the competition? If the top five are seeded to avoid each other surely that means in essence that they each get one easier game in their fixture calendar. What of, for example, a Fulham or Wigan having to play an extra game against a Chelsea, United or Arsenal whilst a Bolton or Sunderland draw a West Ham or Newcastle in comparison? It is simply unfair and devalues the competition.

This remember, if you listen to most Premier League managers, is already a competition that has too many fixtures yet still the money men want more.

I`ll be perfectly honest. I don`t care if your average man in a Thai street never gets to see City play live. If he wants to watch live games let him follow a club in his own country. The same applies to United fans in Singapore and Liverpool`s in Hong Kong. The only supporters that should matter are those that have always invested in their clubs with their support.

Foreign supporters are more than welcome to watch on TV or travel to this country to be part of the circus. If the league insists the game must be taken to people who have played no part in its development then it`s time that we that do care, and whose support is taken for granted, start making a stand and begin reclaiming our game.




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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 7 2008

Time: 4:41PM

Your Comments

Greed will kill the most overhyped product ever. the premier League is the emporer's new clothes for a modern audience. This proposal signals its death.
vivid blue
Why does it have to be an extra game? If this idea goes ahead, the venues that are selected should have large capacities and the clubs should pocket the monies raised by the attendance. The cost of season ticket should be reduced by one match accordingly and the fixtures should be a weekend where the top five(how do you know what the top five are?) do not play each other. Another point if I seem to remember that Platinni was intent on reducing our league to 18 teams. Has this now been abandoned?
Buzz Lightyear
I take your point VB is this a front runner for a breakaway European league?
Buzz Lightyear
Market Forces Buzz. The consequences of even trialing such a scheme is scary. Does a Beijing audience really fancy Bolton v Wigan in january or will demand in China call for a united v madrid game instead?
vivid blue
VB of course they want to see the best, but this extra game would be unfare on the teams struggling in that particular season if they have to play Arsenal or Chelsea again. Rich Chairmen have not bought a club so they can show a tax loss on their income tax or have they, Is it a place to dump their debts?
Buzz Lightyear
What happens if a club go down by a couple of points, and they had been drawn against United in this extra game, whereas one of their rivals got an easier draw?? It's wholly unfair and greed-driven!!
Boro 01
agreed boro ...... and i don't often agree with boro
ronin
interesting....
Bosko-Macedonia
Buzz ...Their is a European League it's called the Champions League...this came about when they changed the European Cup from the champions of each League to the top four creating a so called European League. The next thing that will happen is they will create a World League by doing the same thing and taking the top four clubs from EVERY League in the World, it's gone effing mad !! The faceless suits at the FA and FIFA can't resist tinkering with the rules and League formats. What they don't realise is that this will create the demise of the International game as was demonstrated again on Wednesday evening with another toothless display.
alphieblues
Hawu, liyashisa namhlanje!
MerckZ
About wednesday Alphie, It may be that Richards has to go back to RB to get any recognition off Capello
Buzz Lightyear
Incredibly stupid Idea.....
Blue is the colour
This idea is a joke. I live across the freaking ocean and the last game I saw in Manchester was two years ago, but I made the trip, spent my money and had the time of a lifetime. Its the crowd, the stadium, the walk up and back to the match that makes the game, not just sitting anywhere the owners can fill a stadium and sell one off tickets with no history. As I live in near Toronto I've seen our local side play Villa and Benfica in friendlies last year and enjoyed them, but that's what games outside of England should stay, just friendlies over the summer that allow some playing time while getting some overseas 'camera time' in, not games with real points on the line. Horrible idea.
BlueCanadian
Oh yeah Benfica dove the entire time. Villa on the other hand, Young especially, shredded our back line. I think it was 5-1 against.
BlueCanadian
Yes, and how DARE the Premier League chairmen etc not consult Sir Taggart first....! Excellent article, Ed!
Johnny Baguette
 

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