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39th game to take back seat - for now

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Mihir Bose | 15:13 UK time, Wednesday, 8 October 2008

One very interested spectator to the spat between Football Association chairman Lord Triesman and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore at Tuesday's Leaders in Football Conference at Stamford Bridge was Mohammed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation.

In other countries, in Europe and particularly Asia, such a row would be impossible as most leagues are part of the national association and not a separate body as in this country. However, Bin Hammam is well aware of how big a beast the Premier League is and the considerable impact it has on his own continent.

The growth of the J. League in Japan has lessened fears that English football is taking too tight a hold, but the Premier League has a huge following in Asia nevertheless - and not always to the benefit of local soccer.

Bin Hammam is due to meet Scudamore during his visit to London and has plans for future co-operation between his confederation and the Premier League. This will include Premier League clubs twinning with ones in Asia - in the way cities twin themselves - in order to promote the development of grass roots football.

The AFC may also look to adopt a Uefa-style regulation which would allow it to decide when Premier League broadcasts of matches may be beamed into the continent. Uefa rules allow countries to ban broadcasts of matches from abroad when league matches are going on in their country, such as Saturday and Sunday afternoons in this country. The Asians may opt for a similar ban.

But what about the 39th game which, when proposed by the Premier League last year, was opposed by Bin Hammam? In August, during the Beijing Olympics, Fifa president Sepp Blatter told me that the Premier League had discussed with Bin Hammam plans for playing some Carling Cup matches in Asia. However, I understand that the issue of the 39th game will NOT be on the agenda for this week's meeting between Bin Hammam and Scudamore.

The buzzword now is "co-operation", with more planned between the Premier League and the AFC to avoid the sort of confrontation the controversial 39th-game proposal generated.

However, Scudamore clearly has not ruled out a 39th game in some form or other. On Tuesday, he said: "Will it come back in the original form? Probably not... Will it come back in another form? Probably likely." He added: "You can't patronise the fans by playing meaningless matches and playing exhibition matches for ever. The audience abroad is not silly. They are sophisticated and they want really meaningful matches."

With the credit crunch having an impact on soccer, and Asia still providing a possible growth area for the Premier League, Scudamore clearly feels a 39th game is still viable but is clearly keen to avoid confrontation next time around.


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  • 1. At 3:57pm on 08 Oct 2008, MichiganFlicker wrote:

    the game is called football.

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  • 2. At 4:00pm on 08 Oct 2008, MarcaDaddy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 4:11pm on 08 Oct 2008, chelsea_fan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 4:20pm on 08 Oct 2008, dataking wrote:

    Mihir I actually quite enjoy some of your detailed informative reports on football, and thought the video of you in Poland covering racism's effect on football was very good.

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  • 5. At 4:21pm on 08 Oct 2008, holland4arsenal wrote:

    you should use your position to take a stand, one way or the other. This piece has no substance whatsoever, really what was the point of you writing this?
    And as Marcadaddy wrote as well, there has to be numerous better developements in football to write about...
    Why write about how 'big a beast' the EPL is, but not write about the enormous deficit the top EPL teams have and what impact one the nation's game has or is going to have.

    And, again as MichiganFlicker pointed out before, it is football. You play a ball with your foot. Football.

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  • 6. At 4:28pm on 08 Oct 2008, chelsea_fan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 4:35pm on 08 Oct 2008, HALLDA-Y01 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 4:35pm on 08 Oct 2008, Hot Butter wrote:

    Not great, Mihir, not great.

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  • 9. At 4:41pm on 08 Oct 2008, ColinMz wrote:

    Why should UEFA have the power to stop the transmission of televised football matches? After all facism and communism supposedly left Europe some time ago.

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  • 10. At 4:42pm on 08 Oct 2008, boomshakalak wrote:

    This is a thought provoking article.. even if it doesn't give Mahirs opinion...

    my views are... I think the "concept" of what the NFL has done with Wembley is a good one... 1 game a year.. reach out to other fans... and key to all of this... it only affects each team once every 16 years and they only lose a "home" game because of it every 32 years... tickets for the NFL game are like hot cakes - and they are ridiculously expensive even for wembleys overpriced average.. I have got a legitimate one - cost £145 + booking... but it is doing exactly what they want it to.. making money and raising the profile of the sport in another country.

    what the premier league are trying to do is jump on this good idea - that has money making potential and take it to overload.... rather than 1 game the greedy premier league wants to do a whole round every year.. and to appease the clubs regarding this they are trying to make the game effectively a friendly... thus losing its appeal... this has done nothing but irritate the fans of clbs and the clubs themselves.. as they can simply arrange their own friendlies out of season and without the premier league dictating who and when they play...

    if they could try and go for a concept like the NFL i believe it would be more readily accepted for what it is and the benefits it can bring!

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  • 11. At 4:45pm on 08 Oct 2008, whaguan wrote:

    Mihir I swear you forget what your talking about 3 lines in to your writings

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  • 12. At 4:50pm on 08 Oct 2008, Clarence Cash wrote:

    boring bose up to his old tricks yet again!!

    I thought this whole issue had been swept under the carpet months ago!!

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  • 13. At 4:58pm on 08 Oct 2008, theothefuture_14 wrote:

    there was no conclusion youve just stated fact

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  • 14. At 5:01pm on 08 Oct 2008, cpeskett wrote:

    MichiganFlicker: The game is actually called Association Football, and was nicknamed "soccer" very early in its existence by Englishmen trying to create a way to differentiate it from Rugby Football, which was also called football. It drives me nuts when people pick on the use of "soccer" as somehow being inaccurate, and that the users of said term are somehow inferior.

    As to the people happily slamming the blog, please feel free to apply for a job as a journalist, with tight deadlines and questionable pay and then comment. Otherwise, stick to discussing the actual topic (and no, I am neither American nor a journalist - though I do live in the US now).

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  • 15. At 5:22pm on 08 Oct 2008, Theonelikefranco wrote:

    I dont understand why everyone slates Mr Bose. He gives quite telling information that 99.9% of the population would not otherwise have access to. Okay, its not what you may want him to write about but there are other blogs addressing these matters.

    Why do you want his opinion anyway? I quite like that he just gives information and then what he believes that could indicate.

    I prefer that to articles that use one sided information and make wild accusations. Everyone (Arsenal fans) went mental last week because he explained how the current financial situation 'might' affect Arsenals spending power. He didnt go into a tirade about how you were financially ruined or some other exaggeration.

    Keep it up Mihir.......I'm sure you will anyway.

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  • 16. At 5:26pm on 08 Oct 2008, Richard wrote:

    i know this is the BBC, funded by British licence payers, but you have to remember that people outside Britain read this site and that is, I assume, why Mihir uses the word soccer. Much as I don't like it any more than the next guy it does avoid any confusion. Admittedly confusion is unlikely given the context, but you get my point, I hope.

    Can I suggest that those that don't like Mihir's blog stop reading it. He seems to get a torrent of nasty abuse verging on bullying every time he posts.

    Mind you, so does Phil McNulty and others. Why don't people discuss the issue at hand instead of 'reviewing' the blog post?

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  • 17. At 5:27pm on 08 Oct 2008, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    How many 'review' holidays from the Mail on Sunday etc have you had based on this drivel?

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  • 18. At 5:29pm on 08 Oct 2008, Mr. Goo wrote:

    The last time I tried to comment on a Bose blog, my comment was banned. I'm mystified as to why, and can only hope that what I'm about to say is not deemed to break any rules.

    My first issue is with the constant use of the word 'soccer'. Now, I do not object to our North American and Antipodean cousins calling the game 'soccer'. That's the way it's panned out over there, and as long people enjoy the game, so be it. I am also aware that, whilst the BBC may be British, its reach is truly international. However, it is still a British company. I find it hard to believe that Bose chose to say 'soccer' so as not to offend or confuse Americans or Australians. After all, surely, by the time they've arrived at this blog and read it, they've worked out which game it's about! So why on Earth not just call it 'football'?

    My other issue is with Bose's blogs in general. Another response alluded to the fact that Bose claims his blog is his take on events and issues in football. But it's almost impossible to ever detect any form of opinion or analysis in his pieces. He merely just proceeds to bore us to death by relaying 'news' that can, frankly, be read in other articles anyway. And, prior to this piece, why does Bose seem to think that all we want to hear about is money?

    It's got to the point where I read Bose's blog just because I want to see what tedium he's come up with. It shouldn't be that way. Bose needs to be bolder. A bit more analysis, a bit more opinion, and a bit more focus on finding interesting things to talk about, or at least MAKING them interesting in your writing. Bose probably wouldn't be where he is in his career if he wasn't capable of this. And if he's worried about being criticised for his views and opinions, well, that's how debate works. The opportunity is there to reply to such remarks, and the likes of Tim Vickery utilise it. I've never seen Bose respond to anything.

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  • 19. At 5:35pm on 08 Oct 2008, Jeremy Orbell wrote:

    Rather than a 39th game I'd like to see the Premier League have a separate competition whereby the PL teams are split into four groups of five using regular league fixtures for its matches.

    The winners of each group would go into a four team competition with semi-finals and final over 5 days in a replacement of FA Community Shield called the Premier League Community Cup.

    The proceeds of the semi-finals and 3rd/4th place play-off will be split between charities the FA and host nation with a winner takes all prize pot in the final.

    Using the normal league fixtures means there would be no extra games but would add extra spice to what could be otherwise dead matches. Imagine the excitement for a team in mid-table if they have chance to qualify for a money spinning event overseas.

    The four groups would be randomly drawn rather than seeded so everyone gets a fair chance.

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  • 20. At 5:46pm on 08 Oct 2008, Mr Vic A. Rageroad Esq wrote:

    Re. comment 13... and several others

    I don't understand this attitude. Why is it so necessary for you to be told what to think? There is more than one type of journalism, and sometimes it is possible to present facts in a way that the reader/viewer can draw their own conclusions. It is only right that there is a place on the BBC for this as much as there is for personal pieces by the likes of Robbo or Gavin Strachan.

    Complaining that "you've just stated fact" is without doubt the most baffling response I have ever seen to a piece of journalism.

    Mihir, I find your blogs informative and interesting. Keep up the good work!

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  • 21. At 5:57pm on 08 Oct 2008, Adrievdm wrote:

    You have good sources but this makes me feel you're trying to create and reignite something that has died. There are plenty of other topics going on at the moment other than the Tevez affair.

    Like maybe talking about the debt and how its already been affecting clubs in the Football League?

    Or Scotland's case to maybe come in and host Euro 2012?

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  • 22. At 6:53pm on 08 Oct 2008, Goonerview wrote:

    I dont understand why everyone slates Mr Bose. He gives quite telling information that 99.9% of the population would not otherwise have access to. Okay, its not what you may want him to write about but there are other blogs addressing these matters.


    Mate!!, if you want to READ AN ARTICLE, why dont you visit

    There are plenty there!!

    The Idea of a Blog is that its a chance for an opinion, not just copy and pasting from News articles....ergo telling us what we already know!

    Mihir Bose NEVER gives his opinion and merely bores us to death, telling us what we already know!

    Read other blogs like Robbos, they are much more interesting!, as they are opinionated on their topics!

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  • 23. At 7:21pm on 08 Oct 2008, RegalDashingPrince wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 7:21pm on 08 Oct 2008, Claudespeed wrote:

    Regardless of the relevance of the blog, I cannot believe some individuals on here do not consider the 39th game issue is an important one.

    If this 39th game comes to fruition, it will completely tuin the whole meaning of a league season, not to mention trash over a hundred years of tradition. It's not just the purists who'd be angry and disillusioned by this, many average fan will be disgruntled.

    In fact any attempt to change the format as it is chills me to the bone. Its right up there with the minister/official who wanted to scrap relegation and promotion!! Why not just do away with league tables in that case!

    All the 39th game does is give the second place team an opportunity to 'get out of jail' if they are three or less points away from the leaders after 38 games.

    Its another sign of either the new age fan taking over or radicalising for the sake of radicalising.

    If the 39th game comes in, then we might as well start having foreign players playing for england and the like, because tradition would have become meaningless and I, like many thousands of others will just turn our back on our beloved sport once the fat cats and the radicals have destroyed its soul.

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  • 25. At 7:32pm on 08 Oct 2008, stopthepress wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 26. At 7:50pm on 08 Oct 2008, nick_mufc89 wrote:

    I know most of you think this article was tedious drivel and i can see where your coming from, i think most of the frustration is actually to the 39th game being brought up AGAIN, none of us want it so our blood boils whenever its mentioned. I think Mihir was just trying to remind us that however much we hate it this thing isnt going to go away until scudamore buts the fans first.

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  • 27. At 8:32pm on 08 Oct 2008, Long_Haired_Mackem wrote:

    Just a thought, but surely if fans overseas want to experience the true appeal of English Premier League football then the only true way to do it is to buy a plane ticket and see the beautiful game in all it’s glory at one of our excellent stadiums. The only way to get a genuine feel of the EPL is to watch it on the league’s home soil. After all, if I wanted to see Barcelona in the Spanish Premier League I’d head over to Camp Nou and not expect them to come over to England for my benefit.

    A quick opinion about “soccer”: “Soccer” is used by the Americans and Aussies (and possibly the Kiwis too). “Football” is pretty much used by everyone else. In Germany the call it “fussball” (“fuss” meaning, er, “foot”), in Greece they call it “Pothosphero” (“potho” meaning “foot” and “sphero” meaning “ball”). The Czechs, and I think the Poles too, pretty much nicked our word and call it “Fotbal”. My point is that the vast majority of the world use “football” and vast majority of the British despise the word “soccer”, no matter where it came from originally, and therefore we should never see it used on the BBC, except possibly by an American or about American “soccer”.

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  • 28. At 8:43pm on 08 Oct 2008, sodapopyo99 wrote:

    Mihir Bose is a legend! I’ve always found him to write topical, relevant and interesting pieces which always give a different perspective on any given matter. If you dont like it, then dont read it, and stop criticising every single blog

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  • 29. At 8:47pm on 08 Oct 2008, krasnyzhlob wrote:

    Mr. Goo (and others)

    "My first issue is with the constant use of the word 'soccer'"

    Constant? Mihir uses it twice: first in the phrase "local soccer", which is replaced in the next paragraph by the synonymous phrase "grass roots football", thereby avoiding repetition. Maybe that's why he's a professional writer and you're not.

    Then he uses it in the final paragraph where, I agree, "football" would have been fine. However, as cpeskett (14) points out, soccer is a fine old-fashioned British word, and where I come from it was used freely and without objection in the golden era of 60s-70s British football.

    It's a bit rich to criticize journalists for using (non-) Americanisms, I think, when these posts are full of phrases like "get over yourself", "get a life" and so on. ("Get a grip" seems to be the new cliche of choice.)

    Anyway, I came to criticize Mihir, not to defend him. The subject of this post is about as relevant as a discussion of the back-pass rule. You don't have to justify every pointless junket you go on with a report on it, Mihir.

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  • 30. At 8:55pm on 08 Oct 2008, Wildeybeast wrote:

    *Sigh* Why do people insist on posting simply to slag off the blogger?
    If you don't like it then don't read it. And certainly don't waste your and my time by posting pointless messages. You know how you moan about having to wade through a boring and pointless article? Well guess how your posts make those of us who actually want to discuss the topic feel.

    Also, there have been several good comments defending the use of 'soccer' already and here's another one. Did anyone consider that soccer might simply be the term that Mihir uses? Having heard him speak on TV and radio i'm guessing from his accent that he wasn't born in Britain (correct me if I'm wrong Mihir), and as such may well have used the term soccer all his life. If you have a problem with its use then get over it. I'm sure you wouldn't moan if he called it footie, so why bother about soccer?

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  • 31. At 10:08pm on 08 Oct 2008, cpeskett wrote:

    Admit it...the reason you don't like the term "soccer" is because it has US connotations, even though it is an English word, and there is a decidedly negative attitude towards the US (much of it justified, I might add - I can be realistic about it even though I live here). I use the term over here because "football" is American Football over here, just as it is either rugby or Australian Rules in Australia (depends on who you talk to). I was born in England, lived there until I was 17, and used to regularly occupy a spot on the Stamford Bridge terraces, and yet I find nothing wrong with the term "soccer". Some people need to "get a grip" :o)

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  • 32. At 10:54pm on 08 Oct 2008, When I grow up I want to be like Xavi (I'm 21 at the moment) wrote:

    Mihir- I'm just wondering what is your take on 39th game.? I really think the idea is something a character from Sex and the city would come up with-not someone who is involved in football.
    Also I hate the idea banning matches from other league.

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  • 33. At 00:57am on 09 Oct 2008, Mitchell Inman wrote:

    I'm amazed that some people have nothing better to do than nitpick about the word "soccer". Mihir uses it twice in his article, and he uses the word "football" twice, not counting three more occasions where it's part of a title.

    Have the whingers never heard of "elegant variation"? Some of you should improve your own grammar, spelling and style before criticising his choice of word.

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  • 34. At 08:07am on 09 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    Why dont we just forget about the 39th game and take one or two games, probably at the start of the season, and play them in another market. I am sure the income of clubs involved would not reduce, it certainly would increase the interest. Is this not what the NFL do with Wembley and Japan( talk also of Germany in the future), also the NHL have just had 2 opening games of the new season held in Prague. Surely fans can see the longer term benefit.
    Oh and just to throw another bone in the ring, whats wrong with another N American policy - salary capping - might lower the pay of some of these overpaid stars - yes they are worth a lot, but not that much

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  • 35. At 08:40am on 09 Oct 2008, dag_red_kiwi wrote:

    What ever happened to the Premier League Asia Cup? Why don't the P.L. rejuvenate this tournament, create a bigger, more attractive prize pot (like a Europa Cup place or several million pounds) and invite teams that dont qualify for Europe through PL, FA Cup or Carling Cup, an intertoto cup style application system.

    Obviously it'll never happen cos its the view of a dagenham fan in new zealand (what would he know?) but why try to take our premier league and play regular games away from regular fans?

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  • 36. At 11:14am on 09 Oct 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    If the audience abroad want "meaningful matches", surely they are "sophisticated" enough to get on a plane and come watch them.

    Can't afford it? Well neither can I, and I live here. You don't see me insisting that the game should be made more accessible to me by holding the Carling Cup second round in my back garden.

    If they loved football that much they'd watch it locally. If they loved the Premier League that much they'd be over here (like that guy who lives in Norway but never misses a Fulham game). I think there's a different love in play here, the love of the folks at the Premier League for money.

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  • 37. At 11:21am on 09 Oct 2008, el-nickpcr-io wrote:

    If my team decides to play any of their games abroad in search of securing "new" fans then they will have officially lost me as one. Scudamore says the foreign "fans" aren't silly - what he take us British fans for?

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  • 38. At 11:27am on 09 Oct 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 11:33am on 09 Oct 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    It would make more sense if less popular cup competitions were sold abroad instead of playing league games abroad. The carling cup should definitely be considered for this. perhaps if they had a winter break then these games could then slot into that few weeks. clubs involved could use it as an opportunity for warm weather training and still get a competitive game in as well as making a few quid.

    An extra game in the Prem would only make sense at the start of the season though. More popular are on holiday then so if they wanted to travel to follow their team then it might be easier.

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  • 40. At 11:57am on 09 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    Why? Are you not prepared to have 1 out of 38(+ cups) served up before another audience.
    I know its a running joke, but the majority of MU members live abroad, no offence to MU, but thats the way it is

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  • 41. At 12:28pm on 09 Oct 2008, Czechmate wrote:

    ""You can't patronise the fans by playing meaningless matches and playing exhibition matches for ever"

    We don't owe them anything. Premier League clubs are rich enough and the premier league is rich enough. There is too much money in football already a move to playing competitive league games abroad would be the final nail in the coffin of football. If supporters abroad want to see premier league teams play in competitive games then they should come over here to whatch them. Its a greedy idea and he has no justification for it.

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  • 42. At 12:48pm on 09 Oct 2008, LawBestCharlton wrote:

    Honestly, the criticism of Mihir Bose is getting beyond the joke- I agree with the poster who suggests that it is bordering on bullying.

    Clearly some people have an anti-Mihir Bose agenda, which seems entirely baseless, and frankly ludicrous (the pathetic "soccer" jibes are a case in point).

    I wonder if there is some subconscious racism at work here... Just a thought (I notice that a number of posts have been removed by the moderators. I wonder what the content of those posts were? hmmm.)

    For the record - I don't find Mr Bose's blogs particularly interesting - but I certainly don't feel strongly enough to completely tear him apart for it, either.

    As has been said by others, if you don't like what he writes, don't read it - get your witty comment and opinion from elsewhere (I certainly do). For sure, if there are glaring factual errors, highlight them. But the tirade against his use of the word "soccer" (the explanations of the word's roots in England, NOT America, are excellently posted elsewhere here) just proves the point that these anti-Bose posters have very little of value to say, and just have some form of baffling agenda.

    Quit ruining it for the rest of the posters who simply want to get on with discussing the topic at hand.

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  • 43. At 1:19pm on 09 Oct 2008, bridlington bob wrote:

    "39th"game ?

    In current climateThe Premier League bubble may have burst before the 39th game is played.

    Mark Mywords

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  • 44. At 1:28pm on 09 Oct 2008, faster than our kes wrote:

    What a ridiculous idea. This man Scudamore is ruining football even more than it already is. Scudamore OUT.

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  • 45. At 1:45pm on 09 Oct 2008, C-Theo-pio wrote:


    From your perspective, as a journalist for world wide football coverage, how do you think the notion of the 39th games has gone down with the world football community? I mean aren't highly extravagent games played abroad every year between teams in friendly cups and lower ranking 'continental' titles each year? Surely the appeal would wear off if year after year English clubs played at your local ground?

    Another concern is equality - how could you sell a match abroad in a situation like Derby last season whereby they are relegated so soon and have nothing to play for (pride was not even in Jewells team talk, if there was one). Surely continental countries would place more emphasis on the 'top four' rather than the 'minnows'.

    In terms of the calender, which is beset already by calls for a winter break (due to supposed? fatigue) and hectic european schedules plus internation committments mean that the travel and logisitcs of an extra game make for ludicrous adjustments. We already have a battle to keep the showpiece games (FA Cup, Euro Finals) at the end of the season, this would make things even harder.

    The only instance this has worked in evidence is the recent trial with American Football (NFL) where a certain number of different teams each year are selected, on the proviso that they 'give up' a home fixture to travel for a lucrative match abroad which replaces their original domestic fixture - the recent Wembley sell outs of these games and the high dram and occasion mark out these early trials as a success and do not affect their domestic commitments as much.

    I would like to hear more on the issue - if we do go down this route (of which I am most certainly not keen) then would'nt it be better to follow this route?

    Be nice to hear other readers and Mihir's thoughts on this.


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  • 46. At 2:00pm on 09 Oct 2008, daveorbinson wrote:

    no 36. spot on mate

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  • 47. At 2:14pm on 09 Oct 2008, Onion_C94 wrote:

    Tradition went out of the window when we appointed a Swedish and then an Italian manager. I now refuse to support England as a result. Actually, tradition went out of the window when football sold its soul to the Devil, sorry, I meant television, and started moving kick off times away from 3pm Saturday.

    Sorry, but the domestic competitions are DOMESTIC - they must stay at all costs in England (and Wales in the case of Cardiff & Swansea).

    The most important people in English football are the fans based around this country who still follow their local teams. Sorry, if fans from abroad want to watch English football then they should come over here and watch it or watch their local teams.

    Britain has (rightly) been accused of plundering and stealing from other countries and peoples around the world. That was the responsibility of the rulers of and profiteers from these shores, exploiting the working classes for their own purposes.

    Don't let the new profiteers steel our game from the working classes who still, just about, make up the majority of football fans in this country.

    Do anything you can to reclaim OUR game!! If you can afford it and they are available, buy shares in your club and then give the voting rights to your supporters' trust. This way you might be able to prevent a foreign takeover by preventing them buying enough shares to bulldose through a complete takeover a la Chelski etc.

    And before anyone cries racism at me, I can assure you that I have long been an active anti-fascist campaigner and had far worse stick for that, I can assure you!

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  • 48. At 2:49pm on 09 Oct 2008, Goonerview wrote:

    I think Mihir bose articles always just repeat the articles on the website (sometimes word for word) ... thats why the football purists out there that are constantly up to date on football matters get frustrated when they read the "Mihir Bose blog" and find unopinionated information that they have already read!!

    Rather than just state what happend, say what you think about the matter!!

    ... I personally think its ludicrous that we are still contemplating this "39th game", it doesn't make sense!

    1. 39th game, who plays who?? we put

    -Manchester United vs Stoke

    -Chelsea vs Arsenal,

    Chelsea and Arsenal draw, Man Utd win an easier match and win the league!... is that fair??? No way!!

    2. If we have Bolton vs Stoke, in a country like Dubai (no real football fan base), the only teams people have heard out there are the Top 4, ... NO ONE will turn up to watch it!!

    - In general, NO ONE will turn up to watch anyone outside the TOP 4

    - this "great idea", will merely make the rich clubs richer and the poor clubs poorer!!

    3. to reiterate, the fact we are still even considering this "39th game", is completely beyond me!

    My two cents!

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  • 49. At 2:59pm on 09 Oct 2008, DougCoglan wrote:

    39 games is completely unworkable. FA Cup Semi's are more workable but I can't see the FA taking that step.

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  • 50. At 3:34pm on 09 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    If there has to be a meaningful ie competetive game, overseas then it must be at the beginnning of the season, as recent times with the NFL and NHL shows, and not a meaningless friendly where nobody really tries.

    #47 Our game? yes we invented it probably, but then the German or the French or the Italians or the Spanish etc (not to mention the up and coming 3rd world countries)would refer to "their" game.
    Yes we were succesful in CL, does that mean we will always support club before country.
    Maybe there is an element of truth in what Blatter/Platini are saying. How the hell they resolve it I have no idea. I mentionned earlier salary capping, but then these foreign business men will find a way round that if not done properly

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  • 51. At 5:06pm on 09 Oct 2008, Onion_C94 wrote:

    DougCoglan suggests that the FA semi-finals would be workable played abroad.

    Don't forget that teams from the Championship reached the semis last season. Do you really suggest that supporters from these teams should have been made to treck abroad to see their team play in a domestic competition?

    What utter nonsense.

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  • 52. At 5:30pm on 09 Oct 2008, RegalDashingPrince wrote:

    As Mihir is well aware the football name is taken. Anyone on the BBC knows full well what football is being spoken about.

    Mihir does not like football and is simply trolling.

    The 39th match is not needed as the premier league is number one already.

    NFL europe went bust so playing matches is all they have, football has more than that.

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  • 53. At 4:37pm on 10 Oct 2008, . wrote:

    This 39th game nonsense has to stop - now. It's a joke. Well, hopefully it is...

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  • 54. At 8:47pm on 10 Oct 2008, cheeky_nffc wrote:

    the 39th game, was, is and will remain a distasteful profit making ploy, it has no benefit to football whatsoever other than that.

    regarding scudamores comments, i am still scratching my head trying to understand what its got to do with us that the asian market 'are sophisticated' and 'want more that exhibition games'

    surely its down to them to get their domestic leagues up to a 'sophisticated' standard?

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  • 55. At 1:57pm on 11 Oct 2008, theresgonnaebeashow wrote:

    Eventually the Premiership will have 39 games.

    14 teams will play each other 3 times. Home, away and abroad.

    A little cynical maybe, but that's how the Premiership works

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  • 56. At 5:28pm on 12 Oct 2008, Stokerambo wrote:

    Surely this financial crisis has taught us all that globalisation is a bad thing. it leads to the break up of society and culture. If the Asians are so keen on football, let them develop their own scene, their own idols and cult clubs. It really is a sad sight to see kids in deprived areas of Bangkok and Shanghai sporting David Beckham and Manchester United shirts. The J-League is a great example of how things can go. First, many South Americans went to Japan to wind down their careers. Japanese players would learn from former world class players and soon the league became competitive. Japan now regularly qualify for World Cups and give the big boys a real run for their money. Surely that must be the way forward, otherwise the likes of China and Thailand will never develop on the pitch, despite their vast potential.

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  • 57. At 8:34pm on 12 Oct 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    Don't see the point of this crap.

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  • 58. At 08:07am on 13 Oct 2008, smashingmartinsmen wrote:

    What is Soccer?
    I was under the impresion the Premier League was a FOOTBALL competition.

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  • 59. At 00:09am on 15 Oct 2008, CapertureScience wrote:

    The whole 39th game idea is a load of nonsense. The game is already run entirely by those obsessed with money - The Television companies. So that we have to have games scheduled at ridiculous times just to accomodate them onto their channels (Sky, i'm looking at you!). Now they want to tack on a totally pointless extra game halfway across the world, just for a bit of extra revenue. How is that fair to the fans who don't have millions of pounds coming in every week? They are supposed to just be able to afford to jet off to Asia for this crap?

    As if they really need any more cash to line their gold plated wallets.

    And the whole "Doing it for the game and for the community" bit is just a front, anyone with half a brain can see through that.

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