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"It was the winter holiday and I was back in Togo having a kickabout with friends when my phone rang.One of the boys answered it and said, 'Manu, it's Arsene for you'. 'Arsene who?' I said. 'Arsene Wenger', he said. 'Get out of it', I said, and grabbed the phone off him. But then I heard the voice. 'Allo'. F*****g hell. It is Arsene Wenger!"
-Emmanuel Adebayor

An Asian View On The '39 Matches' Idea

I woke up today and read that The Premier League had proposed an idea to extend the premiership season to 39 matches, adding an 'international round' in January. Being a Malaysian Gooner I was obviously excited by the prospect of Gallas leading out my heroes in Kuala Lumpur but after giving it some serious thought it doesn't seem like a very good idea.

Firstly, I would just like to point out to English fans that say that the integrity of the game is in jeopardy. One English fan said,"We are not loaded. We can't pay to go watch our team abroad. We are the people who pay the player's wages, we are being treated unfairly!"

For those of you who feel the same way, here are some facts about football:
Manchester United are the richest club in the world for 1 reason only. ASIA. They make far more from merchandise sales and contracts in Asia than they make from their earnings in the UK. Man Utd have a lucrative contract with Air Asia, a low budget airline service in Malaysia. That is the same airline service that you see plastered at the side of premier league referee shirts every week. It makes sense from a financial point of view for the premier league to have this as most of their money come from Asia. Ever wondered how Sky managed to pay The PL so much for the rights to show premier league games? Simple, Sky have a partnership with Asian sports channel giant ESPN Star. Now I have no idea how much the deal is worth but I'm sure it isn't cheap. Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few more clubs are all sponsored by Asia companies like Samsung and Emirates Airlines. IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

Adding another game would take away the fairness away from football. We all remember how Man Utd gloated when they ended our 49 match unbeaten run how would you feel if their excuse would be,"Sure, you played Wigan during the international round while we had to play Everton!" It just doesn't make sense. Football would become unbalanced. Only last week Wenger said that he would never take his players so far away from home just to make some extra cash after Man Utd were paid 1m to play a friendly in Asia.

My Idea...
Having watched Arsenal from afar for so many years it definitely is appealing to see them play in front of my eyes. It would cost me upwards of 1,000 pounds to see them play in the UK. I could buy a good 2nd hand car for that price. Also, having watched the Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy twice it has become obvious to me that Asian fans DO NOT need to see a premiership match to be happy. We just want to see premiership teams play. My idea is simple, closed season exhibition matches for us international fans. The stadiums will still be full and I'm sure it would be a success yet it still doesn't make a difference to the current system of the premier league.

Post your thoughts in the comments section.

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posted by highbury1913 @ 3:29 pm | |

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