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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 09:10 GMT
PM backs fans on global proposal
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
The Prime Minister has joined the debate on the far-reaching plans
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on the Premier League to listen to the views of the fans before moving ahead with plans to introduce overseas games.

Mr Brown also believes that the money earned from the foreign matches should be used to keep ticket prices down.

"Fans have to come first and you have to listen to their views on this," he told Radio 5 Live's Eamonn Holmes in an interview broadcast on Saturday.

"It's important to recognise that the money has to go back into the game."

All 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games from 2011, with the extra round of fixtures being played in five host cities.

The proposal has created a heated reaction, with many supporters unhappy with the plans, although Sunderland boss Roy Keane and Newcastle counterpart Kevin Keegan are among those to have given their support.


And the prime minister believes that a commitment to plough the extra money back into the English game would be one way of winning over the fans.

"I have just come back from China and India and the support for the Premier League and people watching matches there is just incredible," he added.

"Now if that is money that is going back into football, and if that is helping keep the price of tickets down in England, and if that means that more fans get more opportunities of going to matches as a result, then that would be something that I think people would want to take into account.

"There is no doubt about the worldwide interest in the Premier League. There is no doubt that that's good for football because it gets more money into the game in England.

"There is no doubt that the English Premier League has taken over from the Spanish and Italian as being probably the one that people would want to watch the most and therefore you have to get the best players into the league.

"So let's hear what the fans say on this."

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