Premier League XI could face La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga teams as Boehly gets All-Star backing

Date published: Thursday 29th September 2022 7:23 - Will Ford

Boehly butted heads with Tuchel

A report claims we could soon be seeing a Premier League XI facing the cream of the crop from Germany, Spain, Italy and other top European leagues.

The idea of All-Star games was recently floated by Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, who suggested a north vs south game made up of Premier League players.


READ MORE: An ode to Todd Boehly, our favourite new character in the Premier League Universe


“Ultimately, I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,” Boehly said. “People are talking about more money for the pyramid; in the MLB All-Star game this year we made $200million (about £181million) from a Monday and a Tuesday.”

His idea came in for heavy criticism, with Jamie Carragher among those to slam the “incredibly arrogant” businessman.

“When I look at that statement, I think that it is incredibly arrogant,” Carragher said. He is speaking about a league that he does not know. We should not discount ideas – the Premier League is an international league in terms of owners, managers, players, and that is what makes it the best.”

“I don’t like these ideas but speaking like that – from someone who has not yet shown that he can run a Premier League club well – when you have been there for just six weeks, is incredibly arrogant. It would be the same if an English owner went over to buy an NFL team and spoke in that manner.

“There is nothing wrong with ideas, even if me and Thierry disagree with him. But to speak like that when you have been in the country for such a short time.”

But The Times claim Boehly’s idea was discussed at a meeting with other Premier League executives, who want to grow the global audience and bring in more revenue, but prefer the idea of forming a Premier League XI which would compete with players from rival leagues.

The report states that games against XIs from La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and elsewhere could be staged across the world in the summer months or during the winter break to showcase star players to expanding markets.

Sources claim the idea is likely to be pursued as one of a number of new ways to grow audiences and enhance overseas TV rights.

The rise in American ownership is thought to be playing a significant part in the idea getting off the ground as the US investors see an All-Star match as adding value without any downside.

But the same arguments against such games will undoubtedly emerge with many criticising the idea because of limited time in the schedule and the added strain to players.

After Boehly’s comments, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “When he finds a date for that, he can call me,” Klopp said. “In American sports, these players have four-month breaks. Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well?

He added: “I’m not sure people want to see that: United players, Liverpool players, Manchester City players, Everton players all together.”

 

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