NBA Commissioner advocates Premier League games abroad

David Stern supports Richard Scudamore's highly criticised notion.

By Alan Dawson

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore's plans for a 39th game to be played outside of England were met with vitriolic criticism, but it is an idea that is welcomed - and advised - by NBA commissioner David Stern, who believes it will help attract a more global audience.

"When the idea of a 39th soccer match in England was spoken of, the reaction was like it was treason," Stern said in The Sun. "Richard Scudamore is an imaginative CEO. The result of being imaginative is that you can expect lots of criticism.

"In fairness, there are only 19 home games in the Premier League. We have 41 home games [in the NBA]. So, losing one or two may not be as important.

"But I look at clubs like Real Madrid in other countries who pay a lot of money for players and you have to make sure you can compete with those financial forces.

"The 39th game would work and I think it will happen. Americans flock to friendlies of Manchester United or Chelsea, so would love a league match.

"The EPL has the largest turnover but you have to find ways to build a brand like we have done in NBA, which is now watched in 215 countries," concluded the commissioner.