Liverpool fans have been among those to criticise new talks over holding Premier League games overseas, five months after the failed Super League plans.
When the Reds pulled out of the much-maligned Super League proposal, as with eight of the other 11 clubs, it was widely accepted that it was not the end.
The commodification of modern football knows no bounds, with UEFA announcing an expanded Champions League setup soon after, while FIFA push ahead with plans for a World Cup every two years.
For a long time, the Premier League has been touted as a major attraction for markets overseas, and suggestions of a 39th game being held abroad have been routinely shot down.
Now, though, The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reports that talks have been held over hosting “meaningful” Premier League fixtures in other countries.
Shareholders from the 20 Premier League clubs met in London last week, and following initial discussions last month, the prospect of playing games overseas was brought up again.
The United States is considered a primary destination – with plans already in place for a lucrative pre-season tournament there, which is much more understandable – while China, India, Brazil and Indonesia are also mentioned as key markets.
While it would take “several years for a top-flight match outside of England to come to fruition,” it is described as crucial in the league’s “attempts to gain greater global appeal.”
This is, naturally, a controversial idea among fans, with Liverpool supporters taking to social media to criticise the report:
‘Enhanced overseas pre-season tournament’
To go with bi-annual World Cup. And Nations League. And expanded Club World Cup.
When will football’s bubble burst? https://t.co/n3gmPCSDeP
— Matt Ladson (@mattladson) September 27, 2021
GET. IN. THE. BIN. RIGHT. NOW. https://t.co/5oNxW84aiH
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) September 27, 2021
Waiting for a Premier League statement as rapid and strong as their one on a Super League and all those club chairs who basked in the indignation of it all… https://t.co/wBnQ78dHdc
— Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) September 27, 2021
European Super League = bad, abhorrent idea that shits on the smaller clubs and is only about money for the bigger ones.
Overseas Prem games = great idea that's definitely not about money, and really puts the club's fans first.
— Jimmy Hell (@PlayersTrombone) September 27, 2021
The premier league doesn’t need “growth” by having games overseas. It’s already the biggest and most well known league in the world. https://t.co/1yj4tNnoJU
— Craig (@CHendricks20) September 27, 2021
While it seems a farfetched scheme given the tradition of the Premier League and clubs playing 19 games home and away, there is also a sense of inevitability to it.
The need for unnecessary change among the moneymakers and lawmakers will not go away, and if the demand is there, it would be no surprise if games are eventually held in the US and the Far East in particular.
Hopefully, though, fan power can prevail once again, with the strong statement from supporters in the wake of the Super League plans a warning sign for the Premier League.