Already one of the most successful sporting leagues on the planet, featuring many of the biggest teams and superstar players in the global game, there doesn’t appear to be too much wrong with the Premier League. A mainstay of the football news headlines and one of the most popular sports with fans assessing the best betting offers comparison sites, the English top flight is the envy of many a nation and only appears to be going from strength to strength.
No league is perfect however and, despite all of that success, some believe there is still room for improvement – including new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. Also a part owner of basketball sides the LA Lakers and LA Sparks, and Major League Baseball franchise the LA Dodgers, Boehly believes the league could learn a few lessons from how American sports operate.
Attending a conference in New York, Boehly – who headed up a £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea following the departure of Roman Abramovich – hinted at a potential new revenue stream for the league, stating, “People are talking about more money for the pyramid, in the MLB All-Star game this year we made $200m (£173m) from a Monday and a Tuesday.
So we’re thinking we could do a north versus south All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed, quite easily.”
Attempting to bring a US model over to the English sporting landscape perhaps isn’t an idea to be ruled out automatically. Still, it possibly doesn’t fully factor in the tastes of the British sporting public. The timing of this suggestion could also have been a little better.
At a time when the Premier League are already frantically trying to reschedule fixtures in a World Cup-interrupted season, the last thing many want to think about is an additional game: A statement which is all the truer for those sides who have the additional workload of European fixtures on top of the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Given that backdrop, it isn’t too surprising that the response to Boehly’s suggestions has been largely negative.
When quizzed on the matter following his side’s Champion’s League victory over Ajax, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp responded with, “When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports, these players have four-month breaks. Maybe he can explain that. I’m not sure people want to see that – United, Liverpool, and Everton players all together. North-east too, so Newcastle. It is not the national team. All the London guys together, Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it?”
Ex-Manchester United player and leading pundit Gary Neville went even further. The former England man stating that “I keep saying it but the quicker we get the regulator in the better,” and “US investment into English football is a clear and present danger to the pyramid and fabric of the game. They just don’t get it and think differently. They also don’t stop till they get what they want!”
For now, at least, it seems the idea of a Premier League All-Star game may be one to put back on the shelf.