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Home > Sports > EPL > Report

Ecclestone dismisses Premier League's 39th game plan

Mike Collett | February 14, 2008 16:40 IST

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed the Premier League's plans to play a 39th match of the season overseas as "not very good", offering to organise a 'big four' mini-tournament instead.

Billionaire Ecclestone, who is also co-owner of Championship (second division) side Queens Park Rangers, told Thursday's Daily Mirror: "The current idea the Premier League is putting forward isn't very good.

"They probably wouldn't find it very easy to convince someone in Singapore to have Wigan playing somebody over there. But if somebody said to me today 'what would you do?', I'd have the top four clubs who are known worldwide and I'd want them playing six matches against each other in a mini-league.

"I'd run it completely separately and export it to whoever wanted to buy it. Nothing to do with anything (else). Not sharing the money with the rest of the league or anything like that."

The Premier League's plan for all 20 clubs to play a 39th match overseas has been widely criticised and according to the Daily Mail even the man who came up with the idea is no longer convinced of its viability.

Rod Eddington, the former chief executive of British Airways, now runs the Melbourne-based Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC).

"We are up for it and would very much like it to take place," he told the Daily Mail. "But it's unlikely to happen if the authorities are not in favour and both the Australian Federation and the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) have come out in opposition."

The idea was revealed by the Premier League's chief executive Richard Scudamore last week after the chairmen of the 20 clubs agreed to study plans for the proposal.

World soccer's ruling body FIFA and European governing body UEFA plus the Asian confederations have expressed reservations about the idea.

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