Club executives are pursuing the idea of creating a Premier League all-star team to take on counterparts in Italy, Spain and Germany in glamour matches that could be staged across the world.
Chelsea’s American owner Todd Boehly recently suggested a north v south all-star game for the Premier League, like in American sports leagues, as a way of growing audiences worldwide.
But The Times reports that this is just one of several ideas being considered by executives, and a more popular proposal is to create combined all-star teams from Europe’s top leagues.
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The games could be staged in Europe or across the world during summer or winter breaks, with the aim of continuing to expand audiences and improve foreign TV rights deals.
Boehly came in for criticism earlier in September after he said the English top-flight could learn “a little bit of a lesson from American sports” to earn more revenue.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was among those to laugh off the idea, pointing to what is already a clogged fixture list for elite footballers.
“When he finds a date for that, he can call me,” Klopp said.
“He forgets that in the big sports in America, these players have four-month breaks, so they’re quite happy that they can do a little bit of sport in these breaks. It’s completely different in football.”
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The all-star game is a popular concept in the United States, where the likes of the NFL and the NBA put the best players in the leagues up against each other once a year.
Some of the UK’s leading football pundits were divided in their response to the all-star concept.
Jamie Carragher thought it was “incredibly arrogant to speak about a league that you don’t know”, while Thierry Henry said: “This is Europe and it doesn’t work like that”.
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However, Rio Ferdinand was more open to the idea.
“I think if you listen to it in its entirety, one of the real things that was missed was how to get money down the pyramid of football if you can get all of the hoops jumped through,” he said.
“The mere fact that he mentioned it is obviously in his mindset, whether his ideas are outlandish... it is obviously something that you would definitely consider.”
The Times story adds that the response from foreign leagues remains unknown, while the timescale of starting all-star matches is also uncertain.
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