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 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.