Premier League shareholders are targeting playing competitive games overseas within the next few years.
Taking matches outside of England has long been discussed, with former league chairman Richard Scudamore first bringing up the idea of a ’39th game’ all the way back in 2008. These plans did not receive support from UEFA, FIFA or the FA, leading to them being scrapped.
There has always been a feeling that overseas games are an inevitability and we could be one step closer to seeing it, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
He reports that when Premier League club executives met in London last week, continuing the growth of the competition around the world was one key area of discussion. The United States, China, India, Brazil and Indonesia were all pinpointed as potential expansion areas.
A ‘roadmap for meaningful matches abroad’ was also mentioned, building on discussions about taking Premier League matches around the world back in June. Although the plans would take several years to be compiled and implemented, the discussions mean we are closer than ever to seeing games being played overseas.
In the meantime, several additional proposals have been drawn up including an expanded pre-season tournament, which could be played in the US next summer.
The Premier League will not be the first competition to expand to overseas markets. The 2019 Supercoppa Italiana was held in Saudi Arabia, while La Liga were set to host a game in the US – only for the move to be blocked by the courts.
News of the Premier League being taken abroad is the latest twist in what has been a seismic few months for the future of football. Back in April, 15 top European clubs attempted to form a money-spinning Super League – only for the plans to collapse following significant fan backlash.