Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Premier League discussing All-Star fixture against a combined European XI

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly’s push to have an All-Star fixture is now gaining traction, though fellow Premier League executives would rather play a combined European XI instead.

American billionaire Boehly faced criticism this month when he suggested a North vs South Premier League All-Star game to be played during the off-season – likely overseas.

Despite the huge backlash – which even saw Jamie Carragher label the Chelsea owner as ‘arrogant’ – the Premier League are open to the idea and, according to The Times, have been discussing about it.

Boehly’s version of how an All-Star match might work was only one of a number of ideas deliberated by Premier League club executives recently, and there was one proposal that stood out.

Rather than having an ‘in-house’ face-off between two sides made up of an assortment of players from England’s top-flight, a more popular plan was to create a combined Premier League XI to take on Europe.

That match-up could either see a Premier League XI take on a best XI from one particular league, or a combined XI from the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and other top divisions.

In theory, therefore, a Premier League All-Star XI could come up against a European team featuring Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, PSG’s Lionel Messi, Inter’s Milan Skriniar & Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, among others.

Such a contest would definitely have broadcasters and even fans salivating at the prospect and the All-Star match is now seen as an idea worth pursuing in order to grow audiences – particularly younger viewers – and enhance overseas TV rights.

The game could be staged in Europe or taken around the world either during the summer or even in a winter break.

Boehly is not alone in his desire to see an All-Star match happen, with half the teams in the Premier League having some form of investment from the United States – with many of those investors keen to see the idea implemented.

For now, the plans are on the backburner due to the backlash Boehly received but the Premier League intends to speak to foreign leagues about the possibility – with those leagues likely to jump at the chance to latch onto English football’s global profile.

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