EPL keen to go global

The English Premier League set to stage matches overseas from 2011.

    Emmanuel Adebayor could be part of the global
    expansion of England's Premier League [GALLO/GETTY]
    England's Premier League is set to play 10 games overseas every season starting in 2011.

    Under proposals approved by the league and chairmen of the 20 clubs, the season would be expanded so that five cities outside of Britain would host two matches each.

    New York, Beijing and Tokyo are reportedly among the potential venues for the games, which would count toward the league standings.

    Despite protests from coaches that their players already suffer from too many matches, the switch to a 39-game season would start in 2011 when a new television broadcast agreement is scheduled to take effect.

    Following success of the top American leagues in staging football, basketball, hockey and baseball games outside of the United States, the Premier League could schedule the extra match for January.

    Most Premier League clubs already embark on annual preseason overseas tours to promote themselves and boost revenue.

    Manchester United and Liverpool have already toured Asia in the offseason.

    Chelsea played AC Milan and D.C. United last year in a preseason tour of the United States, while Manchester United even took part in a friendly match in Saudi Arabia last month during the middle of the regular season.

    The NFL held its first regular season game outside North America in London last October when the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10, the same month the Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves played a preseason NBA game there.

    The NHL opened in London in September when the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings contested the first regular-season games to be played in Europe, and is set to open next season with four games in Stockholm and Prague.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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