There is still a strong chance of seeing English Premier League teams playing each other in the UAE, after chief executive Richard Scudamore claimed that the controversial '39th round' proposal could be resurrected at some stage in the future. Plans to host an overseas round of matches in five cities across the world from 2011, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai strong candidates, were originally unveiled in February but were scrapped after receiving a widespread hostile reception in England.
However, Scudamore has revealed the proposal was by no means dead in the water. "It is still there, being discussed and considered with the clubs," said Scudamore. "We believe there is a future for clubs playing matches abroad. Audiences abroad are very sophisticated and know a lot about our clubs. Will it come back in the same form? It's unlikely but perhaps in a different form." With the worldwide credit crunch spreading to the sphere of football, highlighted by West Ham's current plight, a money-spinning round of games away from England could become more appealling to Premier League owners.
The Icelandic bank chaired by West Ham's billionaire owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was put in receivership, the latest victim of global financial turmoil, casting doubts over the club financial future. There is also the possibility of a compromise with the club owners who are still sceptical about the 39th game plan, allowing some rounds of the English League Cup to be staged abroad. email@example.com