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By ESPN Staff
Feb 19, 2008

Scudamore denies that 39th step is dead duck

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has insisted the plan for an international round of matches is not a 'dead duck' despite hostile opposition.

But Scudamore admitted to MPs that the League will not be able to push ahead with clubs playing a 39th game in a foreign city unless they get the agreement of FIFA, the FA and the Football League. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already criticised the proposals while the FA board will meet on Thursday to decide their response. Scudamore is planning to fly to Zurich next week to see Blatter and try to persuade him of the benefits of the plan. He was quizzed by a committee of MPs today, some of whom described the plans variously as 'daft', 'barmy' and 'bent'. Scudamore told the Culture, Media and Sport select committee: 'It's certainly not a dead duck - it has only just started and we have only had 10 days of a year-long consultation process. 'This is a set of proposals which is a work in progress and yes it has had some hostile reaction. 'Clearly we are not going to take this forward if it in any way does not in any way meet with some form of acquiescence from FIFA. 'Certainly the FA and the Football League will also have to be comfortable with whatever move and whatever direction we take.' Scudamore was challenged about the distorting effect of a 39th match on the symmetry of the Premier League. Mike Hall, MP for Weaver Vale, pointed out that a relegation-threatened club could end up playing the title-holders three times. Hall said: 'It's already fatally flawed - it's a completely barmy idea.' Scudamore did admit for the first time that the plan might be scrapped. He added: 'If it's deemed not to be worth it we will think again about our global expansion.'