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SBD Global/August 14, 2014/International Football

English Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore Still In Favor Of 39th Game

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore is still in favor of adding a "controversial" 39th game to the season -- and said that "the clubs are too," according to the BBC. The idea of playing an extra round of fixtures abroad "was first suggested in 2008, but drew criticism from fans and the media." Scudamore said, "The clubs wanted it then and they all would still probably want it now." But Scudamore, speaking at the official launch of the '14-15 Premier League season -- "his first public engagement since he was criticised for making sexist comments in emails to colleagues" -- conceded there was no reason to think an additional round of league fixtures would do any more to attract fans than some of the preseason games that already take place (BBC, 8/13).

BETTER OFF: In London, Josh Burrows reported Scudamore said Luis Suárez was “an accident waiting to happen” and the Premier League is better off without him. Scudamore said, "I think probably the time had come. He’s a great player and I’m not taking anything away from his talents. ... He’s great to have but an accident waiting to happen, and if you spend your time trying to promote what’s good about the Premier League, you’re always waiting for the next thing to come along." Scudamore denied that Barcelona and Real Madrid "were draining interest from the Premier League, claiming that the strength of competition in English football’s top tier means that it remains the most entertaining league in the world." Scudamore: "We lost David Beckham as well, remember, we do often lose one or two" (LONDON TIMES, 8/13). The London TELEGRAPH reported asked how the English game might compete with Spain, Scudamore said, "In one sense, you don't. The way the economics of Spanish football work, you've got two clubs who, with the way they sell their television rights, they're allowed to sell their own, and they clean up and they make more money than any of our clubs do" (TELEGRAPH, 8/13).
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