Reading boss slams expansion plan

LONDON - Plans to play a 39th round of Premier League games overseas are doomed, says Reading chairman John Madejski.

LONDON - Plans to play a 39th round of Premier League games overseas are doomed, says Reading chairman John Madejski.

The Premier League's 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 England, 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.

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."

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 Queens Park Rangers FC, said: "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."

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. - BBC

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