Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has voiced his firm opposition to the idea of staging Premiership matches abroad. A recent Premier League proposal was to make top flighh clubs in England to play an extra fixture each on foreign soil and the move has met with more opposition than support.
Hargreaves is in his first season in the Premiership but like his Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is not too eager to shake hands with the Premier League on the matter. He says:
I think it’s difficult. Yes it’s good to promote the league, but how much do you really need to promote the Premier League? It’s the biggest league in the world as it is.
From the fans’ point of view, I think it’s poor because it means a lot to them and just to play games in New York or Shanghai or wherever for whatever reason — it must be money — is a shame for the people who pay to watch their team week in, week out.
If it’s one game, it depends, but anyone who travels knows that to fly ten hours takes a lot out of your body, especially if you’re being asked to play 90 minutes at the highest level the next day,” he explained. “But when you play at the highest level week in, week out — Man United, England, Champions League — the demands on your body are extreme.
I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to do this at the highest level for an extended period of time. The players who have been playing at this level for a long time, like Scholesy [Paul Scholes] and Giggsy [Ryan Giggs] are remarkable really.
People has asked the players and the fans to voice their opinion on the subject and while the fans have already expressed their disdain to the situation, the players too are not reluctant to follow the idea. Maybe the Premier League can comprehend that their ambitious proposal is not going to cut ice.