Scudamore expects close race

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore believes the race for the title could be closer than ever.

Last Updated: 14/08/14 at 10:26 Post Comment

Richard Scudamore, title race could be closer than ever

Richard Scudamore, title race could be closer than ever

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Last season Manchester City had to wait until the final day before securing the title after Liverpool's late surge faltered in the closing two weeks.

And, speaking at the official Premier League launch, Scudamore feels this year will be even more competitive following a raft of spending from top-flight clubs.

“Here we come to the start of the season where the uncertainty is even greater than last season,” he told Sky Sports.

“If you look at all the punditry and speculation, the amount of teams being talked about as potential title contenders is as long a list as ever and that’s very good for the league.

"The bookmakers have got five teams in there with much narrower odds against them than before so you would probably say that it is closer than ever.

“The clubs again over the summer have reinvested and brought in some talent and that again is all good because they are desperate to get their name engraved on the bottom of that Premier League trophy.”

Scudamore also revealed he is not overly-concerned by the loss of top Premier League stars such as Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale over the last two seasons.

“It doesn’t worry me much to be honest as long as we are attracting other stars,” he said.

“Yes, the footballer of the year for two years in a row has been picked off, but teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona have always picked off big stars.

“We haven’t had the Luis Figos here or the Zinedine Zidanes but it’s not stopped us attracting some of the best talent in the world, and it’s not stopped us having more competitive clubs than any other league in the world, and that’s the most attractive part of the Premier League.”

Despite growing interest in the Premier League across the world, Scudamore does not believe an agreement to stage a 39th league match on foreign shores is any nearer fruition.

Interest

“We have managed to do without that and still generated huge amounts of interest,” he said. “We have doubled our audiences long before the World Cup came along.

“The World Cup has given it another lift but I don’t think it necessarily brings an international round any closer or further away. We’ve done all this in terms of interest without having to do that.”

Scudamore was speaking at Capital City Academy in north west London – a school which has benefited from facilities investment open to students and the wider community.

"In our view, faculties like this serving wider communities are absolutely the future,” he said. “We've put 52 of these facilities in last year and we intend to put another 102 in over the next couple of years.

"We are putting £10.5m into primary school sport over three years and 25 of our clubs have taken part. Some 67 professional clubs will help out next year so this is now much wider than the Premier League.

"It is literally about getting kids in, helping primary schools, helping them with coaching and community programmes and delivering development.

"We are making progress. We believe there are thousands and thousands of young people with talent in these urban areas and they need access to coaching and education in sport. 

“We think the combination of investing in facilities, coaching and education can improve the pool from which everybody has to pick right through to the elite system.

“Then hopefully the elite system that will produce players that hopefully England can pick to go on and represent us.”

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