American billionaire Boehly faced criticism earlier this month when he suggested a North vs South Premier League All-Star match to be played during the off-season – likely overseas.
Despite the backlash – which 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 what guise it might take.
Boehly’s version of how an All-Star match might work was just 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 teams made up of an assortment of players from England’s top-flight, a more popular plan was to form 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 specific 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 side featuring Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, PSG’s Lionel Messi, Inter’s Milan Skriniar and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, among others.
Such a contest would surely have broadcasters and even fans salivating at the prospect and the All-Star match is increasingly seen as an idea worth pursuing in order to grow audiences – particularly younger viewers – and enhance overseas TV rights.
The match could be staged across Europe or taken around the world either during the summer or even in a winter break.
Boehly is far from alone in his desire to see an All-Star match happen, with half the clubs 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 a possible team up – with those leagues likely to jump at the chance to latch onto English football’s global profile.
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