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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2008, 13:16 GMT
Overseas games plan 'in tatters'
Graphic
Plans to play a 39th round of Premier League games overseas are doomed, says Reading chairman John Madejski.

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has said that the proposal had the backing of all 20 clubs.

But Madejski told BBC Sport Scudamore should have done "more consultation" before announcing the plan.

He said: "If he had approached some of the governing bodies before announcing his plans, we would have moved forward on it. Now it's in tatters."

The proposal has met with widespread opposition in this country, where the Football Association has expressed serious reservations.

Sepp Blatter, the boss of world governing body Fifa, has said the plans will never go ahead as long as he is president, and several international football federations have said they are not interested in hosting the games.

John Madejski
We should cherish the Premier League we have and do everything we can to sustain it

John Madejski

Madejski, who was talking to BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme, said: "It's already been consigned to the trash bin. I don't think it's going to grow legs now. There are too many people against it.

"It's great Richard has come up with an idea like this, and I hope he brings out a few more, but this one is obviously not going to happen.

"It does have merit, though, but rather it should be an exhibition game rather than a league game because it is good for the Premier League to be exported abroad."

Earlier this month, Madejski had told BBC Radio Berkshire he "didn't have a problem with" the plans, saying that it was "common sense that teams should do one match abroad every year".

Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone, who masterminded Formula One's global expansion, has labelled the idea to take the Premier League abroad as "crazy".

Ecclestone, who co-owns Championship side Queens Park Rangers, told BBC Sport: "I think it is completely crazy and if you go for a global championship you are going to destroy the Premier League.

"My advice would be stay as you are, as you have a very good following already."

606: DEBATE

Madejski echoed Ecclestone's views on expansion.

"We have to be very careful. We should cherish the Premier League we have and do everything we can to sustain it," Madejski added.

"It's nothing to do with money, it's being able to deliver the Premier League on the doorstep of countries that hitherto have never seen it.

"Obviously, what I am concerned about is that when all is said and done, the Premier League is run by the top five clubs. We're just the also-rans.

"You can see it's all tied up, and I do believe there is a sort of pact there, but if it's not broken, why fix it?

"To get this galaxy of talent playing on our shores, come on, this is fantastic.

"If it does mean playing an exhibition game every season abroad, so be it, and I think we should."



SEE ALSO
FA concerned over top-flight plan
15 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Mihir Bose blog
15 Feb 08 |  Sport Homepage
Blatter hostile to overseas plan
15 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Jewell against 'razzamatazz' idea
15 Feb 08 |  Derby County
Does the world want Premier League?
14 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Global plan will 'distort' League
14 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Asia opposes Premier League plan
13 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Platini scorns global games plan
09 Feb 08 |  Premier League
US reluctant to host Premier ties
12 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Lamb backs '39th game' proposals
13 Feb 08 |  Middlesbrough
Madejski backs overseas matches
08 Feb 08 |  Reading
Mixed reaction to overseas plan
08 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Pros & cons of global Premier plan
08 Feb 08 |  Premier League
What they say on overseas games
08 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Top clubs consider overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League


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