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The English(?) Premier League

By Stephen Davies :  08/02/2008 :  Comments (15) :
Well the statement made by the FA that they intend to play a game abroad has intrigued me somewhat.

Were do I start? Well in my opinion if its done correctly this could work well for everyone. The reason they want to do this is solely for money. There is no hidden agenda or even an attempt to dispute the fact its a money driven decision.

I think we could be one of the main teams countries would want to bid for, we have a large fan base in asia due mainly to our partnerships with Keijan and Chang Beer. We also had Li Tie and Li Wie Feng come over in the box of kits.

I am in favour of holding a draw for the additional fixture as well. However, I don't agree it should be seeded. I mean mid table sides will play mid table sides and you end up with top against bottom. We could end up with a tough game against Spurs and Man United will get Derby or Wigan. I think seedings would just show too much bias towards the top sides. If the seedings are ranked on all the years of the Premiership Liverpool would be a much higher seed than us even if we finish above them in the previous season. That doesn't sound fair does it!? I know its a long time away and more statements will be realesed with much more detail in them but its quite an announcement to make without being very specific. It's like goin home to your family telling them there going on there jollies without saying were, when and how much it will cost.

Another thing is ticket allocation. Evertonians will follow the team no matter where there playing. So how many tickets will get sold abroad and how many to english fans? How many people in Bangkok have a season ticket and 4 away stubbs? Who decides on the price? The club? if so which one? Will this go in the home or away column for that matter?

Strikes me as an interesting proposal one that can create alot more money for our club. However there are alot of things to sort out in this and due to the reaction of some managers a start clearly has bin made. Very poor timing from the FA.

Just one more thing. Man United got paid £1.4m for there game in Saudi a few weeks ago, certainley worth the hassle of one match. Thats more than half what we paid for Mikel Arteta...

Reader Comments

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Lee Smith
1   Posted 08/02/2008 at 16:50:36

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Right, first off, in my view it simply cannot be allowed that we play 39 games a season, playing one team 3 times in a season. This would destroy the fairness and integrity of the whole English league system.

I personally see this only as a money making exercise by the owner of the clubs (nothing new there then), but if games are going to be played abroad then how about if it is done like this?

At the start of a season, a draw is made and all 20 teams are paired with each other. For example, Everton are paired with Spurs. Rather than playing one extra match against them abroad, we instead play them twice abroad and not at Goodison OR White Hart Lane. This way it remains a 38 match season, everyone plays everyone else twice, and fairness is ensured. Also there would be no need for this stupid seeding idea.

Brian Finnigan
2   Posted 08/02/2008 at 18:08:02

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The proposal to have an extra Premiership fixture to exploit the Global appeal is flawed. I have no complaint about one fixture for each Club being played abroad. nor would I object to the 'top 5' being seeded... provided that:

1. There are still only 38 games per season.

2. The January trans-global fixture list is drawn before the rest of the fixtures.

3. The computer can then take account of each teams 'Global fixture' and simply place the remaining 37 fixtures into the rest of the calendar.

In such an arrangement, the 'Global fixture' is just one of the normal games that each team plays. No league advantage is gained by the seeded teams. The team designated as the home team in the 'Global fixture' is compensated from the television rights. Everybody wins, more importantly nobody gains an unfair advantage in the league.

paul Powers
3   Posted 08/02/2008 at 19:03:03

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Fuck That!

Money Money Money - ?£5m from one game? - Haha reminds me of the 10m a season extra quote from wyness - overinflated bullshit which would make no difference to anyone but the top teams - as while we all get 5m, they get an extra 20m in shirt sales, book signings and sky world subscriptions
Darragh Farrell
4   Posted 08/02/2008 at 19:43:22

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This idea makes me sick to the core. As PP says above, we will not gain any comparative advantage at all. It’s a con. Wyness and the players will get an extra few bob, that’s all.

I am just really concerned that UEFA/FIFA will give in to the clubs on this. What about the National Associations (the FA of China, Malaysia, Australia and the like)? They and FIFA should be encouraging the growth of domestic football there - not tolerating any ideas like this. I’m just worried that the Premier League will pay off the concerned National Associations -£1m to the Korean FA to keep quiet and agree to a match in Seoul, for example.

And it won’t end there.

The whole thing stinks, and if it happens, well, I’ll be done with football, it will be the last straw.
Ray Booth
5   Posted 08/02/2008 at 20:04:21

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Not so long ago there was people saying that we were playing to many games a season and the prem need to be cut down and now there saying add another game but not in this country but as far as we can away also wot will happen to all the loyal fans who travel every were with the team would there be a very large disscount for them to travel dont think so leave well alone
ian tunny
6   Posted 08/02/2008 at 20:33:15

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Think you are right that we would be popular in asia becase of the chinese links. We would also be popular in Australasia because of cahil and popular in the U.S because of Howard, and maybe the addition of that young American lad.
However it is not the direction i would hope Everton to go when it all boils down to money.
Matthew Lovekin
7   Posted 08/02/2008 at 20:53:35

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There is only one way that this can work logistically. I’m not saying I agree but if the PL want each team to play every other the same amount of times and they want to have games abroad as well as home and away in this country, well then (brace yourselves):

The PL is reduced to 14 teams. Each team will play every other team on a home and away basis (13 other teams x 2 games = 26 games). Then each team will play every other team in the league at an abroad venue (13 more games = 39)

The PL reach their magic ’39’. The PL remains completely fair. The PL becomes an even more elite group with only being 14 teams (which will make the PL even more happy). The ONLY downside to this proposal is that fans will only get to see 13 home games on a season ticket. But hey, when have the PL cared about the fans?
Jon Gray
8   Posted 09/02/2008 at 00:45:25

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Absolute madness! Hows about this for a fun scenario. Now we know that the top 5 will not be seeded but If Man Utd get Derby (or the current strugglers of the day) and Arsenal get Tottenham. Now both games in the interest of fairness will be played on a Saturday in Australia. But wait, next weeks game is Man Utd v Arsenal. Utd can send their second string, reasonably confident in doing a job while Arsenal are compelled to send their first string to play another derby game. They have to play the game fly back and reacclimatise in the space of a week to face a rested Utd in a game that could decide the outcome of the league.
Also who decides what teams play in what parts of the world. For example their will be more money in the American market then in Thailand. Is it done at random, or do the big four get to pick and choose.
The whole idea stinks, born out a percieved threat from the NFL establishing themselves on a yearly basis in London and an ever increasing need for greed.
I would love just one Premiership chairman to tell the rest of them where to go. That would be all it would take, just one. Go on Bill, make a name for yourself!!
Matt Traynor
9   Posted 09/02/2008 at 01:16:21

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There difference in value of currencies, cost of living etc. between USA, Dubai, Asia, and Australia is palpable.

Here in Singapore the cost of a ticket for an International game is around 4 quid, 5 quid for main stand.

The only way Singapore could afford to stage a 10 million event is through corporate sponsorship. Standard model for most of Asia be it F1, sports, or a music concert.

Dubai recently paid Justin Timberlake US$2.4m (plus private jet) to do a gig. Not an issue for them.

If it had to happen, I would prefer as others have saId that one weekend is dedicated as the overseas weekend. This does mean that half the teams would play one fewer home game. Unless of course they did two weekends so everyone played one home and one away game overseas. But maybe that’s the long term plan...
Mitchell Wilton
10   Posted 09/02/2008 at 01:39:12

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I have to admit that i am sitting on the fence with this issue. I am an Toffees supporter based in Oz and have made the trek to Goodison a number of times over the year so i think i can have a fair and unbalanced opinion on the matter.

The english game has evolved into a internation revelation and all the money that has been poured into the game has come from this. Ticket revenue would be lucky to pay wages and although i cannot be certain of the distribtution of income from UK and the world from television rights, i would take a stab in the dark and put it at 70% are from overseas television rights. Now what does this matter? i guess if clubs/Premier league and their local supporters like to see the English game as the leader in the world (in quality and quantity of players that can be brought into their league) they have to be willing to recognise the internation monetry contribution to this.

As for whether a 39th match in various world cities is the answer i think not, we have to get serious and understand that only the games with the top 4 are likely to draw the sell out crowds intended, the others will be likened to poor preseason games drawing the obligatory 3000-5000.

Foreign interest and money doesn’t neccessarily mean rich american owners, it means more like 300 million asians, 100million africans, 20 million north americans etc
Peter Pridgeon
11   Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:17:01

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What people do not realise is that Football is the only game in the world that all people watch and the English Premier league is now the only league that people watch.

Man United liverpool and Arsenal are global brands and as such want to take their brand to the globe.
Everton are far from this and will need to ride the coat tails of these international colossus or be forgotten.

Despite what people say about Evertons international exposure, for every one foreign based evertonian there are 10,000 Liverpool supporters and 100,000 Man United supporters or more.


This is a great opportunity for clubs on the rise like Everton, we must accept and adopt this type of exposure, profit from it and carry on building the club.

Money is everything in sport and if you think otherwise go and find an exciting amateur sport to watch, there you can exercise your high principles that do not involve the transfer of goods and services for reward.
Charlie Dimmock
12   Posted 09/02/2008 at 10:17:03

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Many people seem to have fallen into the trap already. By discussing how this ludicrous proposal will work is tantamount to voting (just as if) for it.

This is Capitalism at its worst. Know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Do you honestly think that this will stop at just one extra game per season? Will the Italian and Spanish leagues just let the English benefit from this? There is a largely untapped market of 303 million in the USA. How can they get into this? Easy, make it more customer friendly, easier to understand, more goals, a.e.t. penalties before the game, a blue half of the pitch and a red half perhaps. Divide the game into quarters to allow for yet more adverts.

I feel so strongly about this that I would happily walk to F.A. Headquarters holding hands with a bunch of Koppites to protest against it.

What will happen to the £5 million each club is supposed to be getting. Will you pay less for your ticket or will it help spiral even higher transfer fees and wages?

This makes the move to Kirkby a walk in the park!

If you care about football fight this monster.
Tony Waring
13   Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:46:16

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I see Fergie has exploded — predictably — about the extra "away" game mooted by Scudamore. I bet his opinion will be listened to by the hierarchy. I wonder what would happen if he kept stum and concerns were voiced by David Moyse ? No prizes for guessing ....
Charlie Dimmock
14   Posted 09/02/2008 at 18:39:20

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Want to know what is getting me to a stage where my blood pressure is dangerous?

Probably not but can I suggest that everyone watches the Manchester Derby tomorrow. Why? Because neither of the teams will be adorned with shirt adverts. That’s how it used to be and I for one would love to see the game played as football match and not as a run-around advertising exercise.

I don’t care if you are flogging lager, glorified galoshes, or a budgie for sale (complete with cage) you are demeaning this great game.

Imagine, if you will, that you are showing you son or grandson a photo of William Ralph Dean, resplendent in the Everton kit. Would it be quite the same if across that great chest there was a logo for " Stubbins for Dubbin" or "Mackies Brown makes you puke less". I don’t think so.

To all the little capitalists out there who are obsessed with ’brand’ can I say that brand to me is a favourite espresso coffee. If it isn’t on the supermarket shelf I don’t come home and weep, I just choose an alternative.

I can’t do that with Everton.
Mike Gain
15   Posted 10/02/2008 at 15:17:56

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To me, this latest talk of playing Premier League games overseas only reconfirms the inadequacies of the Kirkby proposal. The Premier League are thinking big; like it or not, something like this is going to happen, while we are thinking incredibly small. This move will set us up for a huge fall with this relatively new demand for overseas money. We will be seen abroad, where in the future it will count even more, as a mediocre club with a history the overseas market doesn?t remember, in a small stadium located in a small town overshadowed by two red illustrious neighbours.

We need to be ahead of the game, like we have been on many occasions, in order to secure a successful future.

I would even go further to say that staying at Goodison could even be an incredibly fore-sighted decision. Look at all the press we have received lately about our atmosphere and so on and so forth. When everyone is polishing their new shiny stadium, isn?t this something we could sell further? ?Come and experience the heart of the fans at a real, traditional match at the Coliseum of English football,? especially if this coincided with a competitive first team squad.

All I am saying is that this talk of Premier League games abroad will surely highlight to all just how short-sighted the Kirkby project is!

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