Boro chief still interested in foreign round

February 13, 2008

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb has given guarded support to proposals to play a 39th round of Premier League games abroad.

As the debate over the controversial plan rumbled on, Lamb admitted the financial aspects of the initiative would be attractive to clubs.

Speaking at a fans' forum broadcast by BBC Radio Tees last night, he said: 'It's not all about money, but it's not far off when you sit on my side of the table.

'Everything is expensive and so if we can get another £5million out of playing in a foreign country, it's a big help to us.'

However, Lamb admitted that the football side of the argument was a concern.

He said: 'I can only find one flaw in it, and that is the one that has been described as the 'sporting integrity flaw'.

'I find it odd that you can play 39 games and it might mean that one of those games is against a team you have to play three times.

'That is the only reason I can find for not doing it.'

News that Premier League chiefs were to look into playing competitive matches in countries around the world from 2011 has caused intense reaction ever since it emerged last week.

Boro boss Gareth Southgate was taken by surprise as he unveiled record signing Afonso Alves last Thursday lunchtime with the details still to be confirmed.

He said at the time: 'Is it April 1? I find it highly unlikely it would happen.

'It's the first I have heard of it. I wouldn't think it would be a realistic proposition.'