Spanish FA chief proposes sweeping change that could impact Liverpool


The NFL and NBA have long crossed the Atlantic during the regular season to the United States to present their marks to a European audience.

Tottenham Hotspur even factored in their long-term deal to host NFL games in London as part of the construction of their £ 1billion stadium, the retractable pitch of their ultramodern home with the perfect dimensions to host the Football. While the NBA has brought games to the O2 Arena in London for a number of years.

European football teams have made the same journey in the other direction to broaden their horizons and open up to new markets and business opportunities, with Liverpool, of course under US ownership of Fenway Sports Group, having visited several times to America for seasonal pre-visits, the most recent excursion being pre-pandemic in 2019.

Pre-season tours to new markets, whether in North America, Australia or the Far East, are lucrative business for the clubs, with Manchester United raking in over £ 12million on their trip to Australia in 2019. But there never was. advanced all-terrain to host regular season games overseas, a move that would threaten domestic game traditions and deprive domestic fans of the competitive product.

It would be lucrative, although, as major club owners, including the FSG, saw through the failed plot to launch the European Super League earlier this year, that doesn’t mean it would be a big deal. good idea.

In 2008, the former executive president of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, had raised the possibility of a “39th game”, to which his season would be added to include a match in overseas territory.

Scudamore, who was listed last year as a board member of Gerry Cardinale’s special-purpose acquisition company RedBall with Billy Beane looking to take 25% of Fenway Sports Group and introduce the publicly traded before RedBird Capital’s private deal in March this year, told the BBC in 2014: “The clubs wanted it then and they probably all want it now.

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“It will happen at some point. Whether it’s under my watch, who knows? “

This did not happen under his watch, which ended in 2014, but he maintained that he thought it was a good idea and one that might be achievable in the future, but not for the here and now. In 2014 it was suggested that an extra game could be worth £ 5million for each club, there is a good chance that figure is much higher now.

But it was about adding a match to the program. In Spain, Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales has suggested that a reduced La Liga schedule and some away games are the way to go.

Rubiales, speaking at a media event in Spain, said: “With respect we are able to present a different and more attractive format, with fewer matches and more free days on the schedule. Neutral places, fewer days, and of course you can study while playing a game abroad. “

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Comments from such a prominent figure in Spanish football did not land well with La Liga, especially as they continue to disagree with Real Madrid and Barcelona’s defiant position when it comes to not to give up their intentions in the European Super League.

A La Liga statement read: “La Liga will not consider a format change in any of its competitions.

“The current model, the structure, the days of competition, the schedules, have been a success in recent years.”

There was, however, a willingness to work with the Spanish Federation (RFEF) on ways to improve the domestic game in Spain, ideas that the Premier League will be interested in given that Spain’s top tier is its global competitor. the closest.

The statement continued: “LaLiga is willing to engage in dialogue with RFEF on various issues to improve football, such as improving VAR, which we already proposed a few days ago, coordination with the new RFEF Premier League , or the definition of a common strategy against the European Super League. “

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