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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 11, 2008

Scudamore - 39th game idea 'not over'

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore insists the idea of playing additional matches abroad has not been scrapped.

Proposals for an extra round of matches to be played at neutral venues spread across the world met with a lukewarm response when revealed earlier in the season.

After criticism from people and bodies within the game, the `39th game' proposal was eventually rejected by the Football Association.

However, the Premier League, keen to further exploit their international popularity, are rethinking their plans having taken into account the various issues and objections raised.

Scudamore told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: 'The idea is not over forever because no idea is over forever. We do have to grapple with globalisation and how we take it forward.

'We are revising, looking at other plans and it is certainly not over.

'We said we would take until next January to look at some sort of strategic move and we are going to look to use that time to come up with something that ticks more boxes.'

Scudamore gave no indication as to whether the revised plans will still involve clubs playing in foreign cities.

'It is too early to say that,' he added. 'Give us the time, we will come back and we will work on it. It is too early to be specific on what it will be.'

Yet Scudamore says it is important to devise something which will satisfy both a hungry international market and the wishes of the clubs.

He said: 'We have this issue where, look at the amount of countries - 207 countries will watch these games today in some form, probably 600million or so home reach.

'The audience will be huge today. At some point we have to address how we reach and satisfy that market, as well as never losing sight of the fact our game is predicated on full attendances, on home fans, on the home base that creates that atmosphere.

'Making something of all that is the strategic challenge for the Premier League going forward.'

Scudamore has also dismissed suggestions that the Premier League is becoming boring because only the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool could win the title.

He also insists the quartet do not have a monopoly on the top-four positions.

He added: 'It is not impossible - Tottenham very nearly did, Everton have done it and Newcastle have done it in my time. Leeds have also done it.

'It is not impossible but it is a challenge.

'It is not a monopoly. If there was one club dominating that would be a problem. As long as there is more than one club that can win it, it is competitive.

'And every game is competitive. The bottom clubs can still beat the clubs at the very top. That doesn't happen in other leagues in Europe.'


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