UK Government to kill revamped ’39th game’ at birth with regulator to BAN Premier League games abroad

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PREM clubs will be blocked from taking competitive games abroad by the new Football Regulator.

FIFA opened the door to domestic matches being played “out of territory” when the world body’s ruling Council agreed to set up a “working group” to lay out ground rules.

GettyPremier League fixtures will be blocked from playing abroad competitively[/caption]

While Premier League chiefs insist there are “no plans” to play matches outside the UK, its US broadcast partner NBC is desperate to stage matches in the States.

With a majority of Prem clubs – including four of the Big Six – now under at least partial American ownership, fans groups fear an inevitable step within a handful of years.

But it has been confirmed to SunSport that the Regulator, which has all-Party support in its passage through Parliament, would be able to ban clubs from playing games outside UK soil.

Clause 48 (1) of the Football Governance Bill states: “A regulated club must notify the Regulator where the club considers that there is a reasonable prospect of the club entering into arrangements whereby a relevant team operated by it would play its home matches at a ground other than the club’s home ground.”

It means the Prem would need approval by the Regulator for ANY matches to be staged abroad.

And given the scale of the pushback by fans against the Super League and the initial supporter response to Fifa’s move, it appears extremely unlikely that such assent would be given.

This differs from other countries which have seen major matches be staged away from home turf.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas previously admitted that he was hopeful of seeing games played abroad.

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He said: “I don’t know when, but this time LaLiga will play official games abroad. I think it could be from the 2025-26 season.

“An official game in the United States would strengthen our position in the North American market, which is the second [biggest] for LaLiga after Spain.

“Other really competitive leagues are coming, so we can’t always do the same thing. They would jump ahead of us.”

The Spanish Super Cup is one fixture that has moved around with games behind held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

There is yet to be a LaLiga match abroad after plans for Barcelona to face Girona in Miami back in 2019 were cancelled.

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VAR: The great debate

Martin Lipton’s pro VAR view

FAST forward 12 months to May 18, 2025.

After 89 minutes at Molineux, Wolves, needing to win their last game of the season to stay up, are beating Manchester United, who require a point for Champions League football.

A ball over the top sends Rasmus Hojlund racing away. The flag stays down. Hojlund scores. Wolves are relegated.

And on the way home, the dejected Wolves fans see the still image on their phones.

Hojlund was 2ft offside. No question. A shocker.
It means at least a year in the Championship, £100million income drop, a firesale of the squad. While United bank an extra £50m.

But it’s OK. Every  one of those fans, plus smiling boss Gary O’Neil and the  Wolves board, will line up to say: “No worries. It’s what we voted for. Rough with the smooth.”

Yes. And I’ve got a bridge to Ireland to sell you.

Dan King’s anti VAR view

THREE cheers and a hearty slap on the back for Wolves chairman Jeff Shi.

For mentioning the unmentionable,  for speaking commonsense to deaf ears, for proposing that VAR should be scrapped.

Shi is doomed to failure. His suggestion is unlikely to even go to a vote at next month’s Premier League AGM.

And if it does get that far, it has a cat in hell’s chance of receiving the two-thirds majority required to carry such a radical proposal.
But in one statement on Wednesday, Shi proved that he will be the brightest man in that meeting room.

He claimed VAR ‘has led to numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football, and undermining the value of the Premier League brand’.

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And he is absolutely spot on.

The argument against VAR is wide-ranging and yet completely basic.

If you believe that football is a sport, to be enjoyed in all its spontaneous, high-tempo glory, then you are against VAR.

If you believe that football is a business, that it is far more important than a mere game, that forensic evidence must be applied, that we must reach the closest point to ultimate justice at all costs — and if you also believe that match-going supporters are irrelevant — then you are in favour of VAR.

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