Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore Says League Still 'Quintessentially English'
Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore has insisted the league remains "quintessentially English" despite an influx of foreign players, managers and owners over the past two decades, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Appearing before a Lord's committee looking into "soft power" and Britain's diplomatic influence abroad, Scudamore said that "foreign owners, now in control at a majority of the 20 clubs, were attracted to the top flight precisely because it had a clear identity." He said, "We have a pretty sophisticated marketing machine at the Premier League … but anywhere outside this country it is known as the English Premier League." The proportion of homegrown players in the Premier League "has dropped to around a third, while 11 out of 20 Premier League clubs have foreign owners." Scudamore: "You can't have it all ways. David Cameron talks about Britain being open for business. If this country does business overseas, these people have to be able to do business here." Scudamore told the Lord's committee that the Premier League "gave away" £268M ($433M) a year of its £1.9B ($3.1B) revenue -- although that total includes parachute payments to relegated clubs -- including £20M ($32.3M) that is invested overseas (GUARDIAN, 11/19).