Rio Ferdinand believes “people missed the point” of Todd Boehly’s idea for a North v South Premier League All-Star match, while Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry have slammed the idea.
All-Star games are annual events in American sports including the NFL and NBA, where the best players come together to face each other in a one-off match.
Chelsea owner Boehly suggested the Premier League can learn “a little bit of a lesson from American sports” and claimed his bold proposal could “fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily”.
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“People will look at it and go, ‘Wow he has just come in here and after three or four games, sacked the manager who won the Champions League, spent £250 million, outlandish behaviour etc’,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“But 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.
“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.
“Now I think that speaking about that type of thing publicly, and knowing how English people in the media receive suggestions like this from people that are just coming new to the game, he was probably better off going to the powers that be and having a roundtable discussion, seeing how it would have been received.
“I like the idea of an All-Star game but there so many things to consider – the insurance, the players welfare.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughed off Boehly’s idea, which has also come under scrutiny from fans.
Jamie Carragher slammed the prospect of an All-Star game, claiming it was “incredibly arrogant”.
“When I look at that statement, I think it’s incredibly arrogant to speak about a league that you don’t know,” Carragher told CBS Sports.
“I don’t think we should ever discount ideas. The Premier League is an international league with owners, managers, players and that’s what makes it the best.
“To come and speak like that, when he’s not even proved he can run a Premier League club well yet. He’s sacked a manager after three games, having spent over £250 million, so straight away you’re thinking that’s not right.
“To speak like that, when you’ve been somewhere for six weeks, and talk about where you’re going to bring, and what we do in other American sports.
“I just think how would the American public feel if an English Premier League footballer then went to the NFL and said we do this in the Premier League?”
Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry agreed with Carragher’s comments: “I don’t like the ideas. This is Europe.
“Teams go up and down. This is Europe and it doesn’t work like that. An All-Star game for what? Nope.”
Owen Hargreaves stated All-Star games in America are “rubbish” and thinks Boehly should not be making these suggestions to the media so early in his role as Chelsea owner.
“It's a nice idea, but it's not realistic,” explained Hargreaves. “The thing is you have games in the NBA, NFL and baseball because they are there for four or five months of the year. We don't have that luxury.
“We are struggling trying to squeeze all these games in as it is. Who is going to insure the players if they play it and also they get injured? How are you going to do it?
“I think it's a nice idea. I think we would all love to see the best against the best, but it's not realistic in any way.
“The All-Star games in the US are all rubbish because the point is they are not taken seriously.
“The basketball one is a pick-up game. They had to change the rules because the players weren't taking it seriously. It was just too open. The NFL one was the same."
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