BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 14:56 UK

Is Premier League world's best?

Gordon Farquhar
By Gordon Farquhar
BBC Radio 5 Live sports news correspondent

It has been a busy few months for Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

He has had to deal with a very public backlash at proposals to play a '39th game' abroad as well as the spate of dangerous tackles in big matches.

There has also been the issue of lack of respect in the game which has again been met with public condemnation.

But after a tough few months Scudamore finally has something to smile about with three English clubs booking their place in the last four of the Champions League confirming the Premier League as the best in the world.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Gordon Farquhar met Scudamore to discuss a number of issues facing the Premier League.

IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE THE BEST IN WORLD?

Having three teams in the last four of the Champions League is clearly an indication of something.

Obviously it means our teams are able to play the sort of football they play every week in the Premier League and translate that into a European context and that has to be good for us in English football.

Football goes in cycles and at the moment we are riding high and doing very well.

606: DEBATE

If you look at the league, every single week our teams are playing tough matches.

Teams at the bottom can beat teams at the top and although that does not happen every week it is the measure of the strength of the league, and that ensures that there is no complacency as every game is meaningful.

Each game provides a tough test of them and that bodes very well when it comes to playing in a European environment.

CAN MOSCOW COPE WITH HOSTING TWO ENGLISH TEAMS?

It is Uefa's competition and Moscow is capable of holding this sort of event. We are confident in Uefa and the local authorities to manage it properly.

Clearly if the Premier League can help then we will do so but we are happy with it being played there.

We take each issue on its own merits and we did have an issue with the last final but this is not the same situation.

WHY IS THERE A LACK OF ENGLISH TALENT IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?

The English talent is being developed but they are not necessarily getting into the first teams of our very, very top clubs.

That is because we now have some of some of the world's leading clubs and they have the pick of the world's leading talent.

To get into those clubs you not only have to be good, you have to be absolutely world class to make it in those teams.

The clubs are still absolutely committed to investing in the academies and to youth development and they are spending the money in those.

We are developing the talent and I accept they are not making it into the top four clubs but they are playing at other clubs in the Premier League and the Championship. The investment and commitment is still there.

IS THERE ENOUGH RESPECT FOR REFEREES?

Every year we launch a respect initiative so the whole thing is not new.

But I do sense a new impetus and we will meet in the next couple of weeks to discuss what we will happen for next season.

I do sense a slight upping of the agenda with people coming together and saying it is time to respect the referee and the game more.

Where I am encouraged is by things that have crept into the game that have been self policed out, such as simulation, where I think everyone condemned it and where players felt they were going to be vilified for it.

Similarly we had a rash of several dangerous tackles and in the main the referees dealt with them and there was a positive reaction from people saying they wanted it out of the game. The same could follow with respect.

IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE STILL PURSUING THE 39TH GAME IDEA?

We think these things will still happen.

We've gone to ground on the topic and are working on revised proposals and how we manage the issue of globalisation of sport and we won't talk about it until those proposals have been revised.



see also
FA plans fresh referee approach
26 Mar 08 |  Football
Terry backs referee respect plans
23 Mar 08 |  Football
Ferguson urges referees respect
22 Mar 08 |  Football
FA unveils 200m grassroots plan
18 Mar 08 |  Football
Why become a referee?
25 Aug 06 |  Get Involved
Fifa rejects 39th-game proposal
14 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Top clubs consider overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Does the world want Premier League?
14 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Premier League going global
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Limit foreign footballers say MPs
03 Feb 08 |  UK Politics


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.