Last weekend, England shuddered in front of Chelsea-Manchester City (0-1), the duel between the last winner of the Champions League and the reigning national champion also finalist of the last C1. What if this kind of shock, a formidable showcase for British football, took place abroad in the coming years? According to the media The Athletic, this track has been mentioned in recent days by the shareholders of the Premier League, gathered at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone in London.
No immediate agreement in sight, even fewer votes… but the subject would not be taboo in the medium and long term. The United States, China, India, Brazil and Indonesia are potential markets for developing the visibility and financial growth of the Premier League machine. First in the form of a mini preseason competition then, why not later, to relocate posters of the championship, as the NBA does in Europe or as French rugby experienced in 2016 for the final of the Top 14 organized in Barcelona.
Failed attempts in Spain
The Athletic says a possible ‘roadmap for meaningful away games’ was mentioned last week, after the issue of ‘bringing the Premier League to the world’ was raised at the AGM of June.
Since 2003, a friendly preseason tournament has been organized every two years on Asian soil, the Asian Trophy. It brings together several elite teams (three or four), during summers without Euro or World. But the idea of scheduling official matches outside the country has so far always been rebutted. In 2008, the organizers of the Premier League had proposed a “39th game” (Games 39) for certain clubs in five different places, with a financial compensation for the participants (about five million pounds per match). Several club presidents and leaders like Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter, bosses of UEFA and FIFA, were then opposed.
This subject, which is likely to bristle the collectives of English supporters, recalls the controversies around the aborted project of the European Super League. It also raises questions from an ecological point of view, because of the multiple journeys by plane that such a barnum would imply. In 2018, the Spanish Football Federation and the Footballers Union said no to La Liga, which wanted to export the Girona – FC Barcelona match to Miami. The instance was again refused in 2019, this time from a judge, for another match (Villarreal – Atlético Madrid).