Premier League: No plans to play matches abroad or extend season to 39 games

Premier League does not plan to extend its season to 39 games or play matches internationally; reports had suggested a 39th game might be on the agenda; clubs are instead looking to make pre-season matches more competitive and potentially play tournaments abroad

Image: The Premier League has no plans to play competitive matches internationally

There are no plans to extend the Premier League season to 39 games and play matches abroad, Sky Sports News has been told.

Clubs are, however, discussing the possibility of more competitive pre-season matches being staged internationally.

In 2008, proposals were put in place for a 39th game - an extra Premier League match that would be included in the overall league table, but would be staged abroad.

Despite a number of top clubs voicing support for the idea, with the potential to open up new marketing and broadcast revenues internationally, there was widespread condemnation of the idea by FIFA, supporter groups, and most managers.

There could be more tournaments like the Premier League Asia Trophy - the last of which took place in 2019
Image: There could be scope for more pre-season tournaments like the Premier League Asia Trophy - the last of which took place in 2019

Some newspaper reports on Monday suggested the proposal of the 39th game is now back on the agenda.

But Sky Sports News has been told that the proposals (which were discussed in last week's Premier League shareholders meeting, but which are still at a very early stage) are focused on trying to make pre-season matches more competitive, whilst also potentially opening up lucrative new international markets.

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Club executives are looking at pre-season competitions such as the existing Asia Trophy, to see whether there is scope for similar tournaments elsewhere, involving more Premier League clubs.

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