The English FA is set to hold a meeting later in Thursday in order to discuss more on the Premier League’s plans on the 39th game. The Premier League proposes that from the 2010-2011 season, an extra fixture be played by all the Premiership clubs in international venues.
But there has been more opposition than support for the plans and the FA too is backing the opposition alliance that included FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini. FA chairman Lord Triesman has underlined the four major points on which the entire mater rests. He observes:
Firstly, whatever is proposed must not damage the domestic competitions or prospects of the national team.
Fixture congestion is a real issue and I have not seen solutions to this yet.
Secondly, I am quite clear that the relationships with international bodies have to be sustained, not just because of England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup, although that is very significant for us and it would be foolish of anyone to pretend that it is not.
Thirdly, there has to be a real sense of comfort among the whole football family, fans included, that it is a viable and credible proposal.
Fourthly, people should feel that whatever happens does not induce the kind of unfairness that may mean that their side, which is perhaps fighting relegation, has a third game against a side which would probably do them some damage in the average encounter.
In all probabilities, the meeting wouldn’t favour the Premier League proposals and the Premier League may just have to whisker off their ambitious project. Not that there would be much complaint should the plans get nipped in the bud.