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Top-flight 39th-game idea on hold

Richard Scudamore
The Premier League's 39th-game drew fierce criticism

The Premier League has put to one side its controversial 39th-game proposal.

Last spring the Premier League floated the idea of playing an extra fixture abroad, but the proposal drew fierce criticism from the football community.

And in outlining details of the Premier League's television rights from 2010 to 2013 chief executive Richard Scudamore revealed the idea was now on hold.

"Meaningful matches for points overseas can't take place within the life of this broadcast rights cycle," he said.


The Premier League had tentatively hoped the idea could be introduced for the 2010-11 season, when the new television broadcasting rights contract starts.

"We had talked potentially about 2011 and 2012, but that cannot now happen until the 2013-2014 season," added Scudamore.

"These bids have been accepted on the basis that there will be no such activity."

When the idea was first mooted top-flight managers including Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson were furious with the way in which the news leaked out before clubs had been properly consulted.

"I don't think there will ever be a 39th game and I don't believe there should be," said Ferguson.

"I am not in favour of it. You look at our domestic programme allied to our cup competitions - it is impossible."

The Football Association, Fifa and Uefa all rejected the idea, as did many fans, and Asian football chiefs argued it would adversely affect their own competitions.

Since then, the Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hamman appears to have thawed in his attitude to the idea, stating that it has some merit and Scudamore believed the thought process behind the idea was beginning to be understood.

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Asia warms to 39th-game proposal
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Asia U-turn on 39th-game proposal
20 Jun 08 |  Premier League
Clubs delay '39th game' decision
06 Jun 08 |  Premier League
Fifa rejects 39th-game proposal
14 Mar 08 |  Premier League
FA rejects '39th game' proposal
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Overseas games plan 'in tatters'
17 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Asia opposes Premier League plan
14 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Platini scorns global games plan
09 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Top clubs consider overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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