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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 06:26 GMT
Global plan will 'distort' League
By Ben Wyatt

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A former Premier League chief executive says he believes the controversial plan to take top-flight games overseas would "distort" the competition.

Peter Varney, chief executive at Championship side Charlton, says he is strongly opposed to the idea.

"I don't favour it - let's not kid ourselves, this is all about money," Varney told BBC Sport.

"This is a domestic league, it would distort the competition which is so well-regarded all over the world."

Varney believes the 20 Premier League clubs will vote for the proposal because of the money involved.

"This is not about taking the game to overseas fans and thinking that some people would like to see the Premier League in different regions of the world," he added.

MIHIR BOSE BLOG
BBC sports editor Mihir Bose

"But clubs will vote for it because they are promised extra guarantees on their next television contract.

"They won't vote for it because they think they can help develop academies abroad and can put something back into the game."

Varney says many of the games may not even prove to be that successful in attracting spectators, if the plan ever came to fruition.

"The ordinary fan won't be able to travel to these games, when you talk about the Far East, the large air fares preclude that," he said.

"You'll probably get a large crowd for Liverpool v Manchester United, but with all due respect, if it was Wigan against Bolton, is that going to draw huge crowds? I don't think so."

Football League chairmen meet on Thursday, but it is not known whether the Premier League's overseas plans are on their agenda.

SEE ALSO
Asia opposes Premier League plan
13 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Fifa 'lukewarm' on global plans
13 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Lamb backs '39th game' proposals
13 Feb 08 |  Middlesbrough
Mixed reaction to overseas plan
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
What they say on overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Top clubs consider overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Premier League going global
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
USA 'should host Premier matches'
26 Oct 07 |  Premier League


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