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The Premier League must become NFL 2.0 – Liverpool coach wants matches abroad

The Premier League must become NFL 2.0 – Liverpool coach wants matches abroad

FULL STADIUM: Manchester United and Arsenal played in front of more than 82,000 fans in the USA last summer.Image:

Previously, it was forbidden to play league matches abroad. That could soon change – and it is no surprise that the top English clubs are favorites in matches in the USA, Saudi Arabia or Japan.

June 8, 2024 at 9:09 pmJune 9, 2024 at 1:53 pm

Niklas Helbling
Niklas Helbling

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It is frowned upon by football fans that national competitions are played abroad. The fact that the Italian and Spanish Super Cup finals have been held in Saudi Arabia for several years has caused repeated criticism. However, due to FIFA rules, league matches are not yet allowed to be played outside your country.

But this is about to change, as confirmed by FIFA. In the future, relatively insignificant Super Cup matches can no longer be held outside the country's borders. The Premier League, among others, appears to be interested in this matter, or at least some clubs in the English Council of Councilors.

“I have an idea that at some point the matches in Tokyo, Los Angeles and Riyadh will be played on the same day.”

Liverpool FC Chairman Tom Werner

Football - Premier League 2023/2024 - Liverpool vs Manchester United, Manchester United - Anfield - Sunday 19 May 2024 Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner after the match, at Anfield.  Published xNOTxINxUK

Tom Werner wants to bring the Premier League to every corner of the world.Image:

In an interview with the Financial Times, Liverpool FC president Tom Werner said he was determined to “play Premier League matches in New York one day.” But that's not all: “I have a crazy idea that at some point the Games will be held in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Riyadh. And all in one day.” The matches will then start at a different time, which should keep English football fans entertained throughout the day.

The fact that the idea came from an American does not seem to be a coincidence. It has long been a reality in the NFL that games are held all over the world. Fans in London and Germany can enjoy AFL matches every year, and next season a match will be held in Brazil for the first time. On Sundays with international matches, Americans can also enjoy their favorite sports non-stop from morning until evening.

However, this is likely not to be well received in Europe. Here, the connections between clubs and their cities and regions are much greater than in the United States, where team transfers are not uncommon. In order to limit protest, Werner wanted to please fans with cheap travel and accommodation options at match venues.

epa07224684 Liverpool fans before the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Liverpool FC and Napoli held at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, Britain, December 11, 2018. EPA/Peter Powell…

Will Liverpool stop playing its home matches exclusively at Anfield in the future?Photo: EPA/EPA

However, interest in such games abroad is likely to be high. Pre-season test matches in North America are regularly very well attended. Last year, for example, Manchester United and Arsenal dueled in front of more than 82,000 fans at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Such plans are nothing new in the Premier League. So hit the league according to “guardian” 16 years ago, it was proposed that the 39th round be held outside England, but FIFA rejected the proposal at the time due to regulations. Now there may be another try. La Liga is also said to be planning to play certain matches in other countries from 2025.

“I do not support games abroad and have no particular interest in them.”

Liverpool's principal owner, John W. Henry

But there are opposing voices even at the official level. For example, John W. Henry, the main owner of Liverpool FC, said of his colleague's idea in the same interview with the Financial Times: “I do not support matches abroad and have no particular interest in them.”

Football - Premier League 2023/2024 - Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers - Anfield - Sunday, May 19, 2024 Fenway Sports Group owner John W. Henry poses with his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, at Anfield.  ...

Liverpool's main owner John W. Henry disagrees with his colleague Tom Werner. Image:

However, given the evolution of football in recent years, it seems almost inevitable that FIFA will effectively lift the ban on league matches outside national borders. Especially since clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal are also in American hands, the Saudi investors in Newcastle or the owners of Manchester City from the United Arab Emirates probably would not object to matches being held in their home country.

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