Eddington pessimistic over Premier League plan

February 14, 2008

The man reported to be behind the Premier League's bid to stage a round of matches overseas has admitted it is 'unlikely to happen' given the raft of global opposition.

Sir Rod Eddington, the former chief executive of British Airways, allegedly pitched the proposal to league officials last year in the hope that his hometown Melbourne would be one of the host venues.

Since it was made public a week ago, the scheme has largely met with opposition from key figures around the world.

Chiefs from Australia, Asia and America have all suggested that their territories would not be willing to stage any matches - at least until FIFA, world football's governing body, gave the plan their blessing, which appears unlikely.

And Eddington has admitted the outlook is increasingly bleak for the 39th round.

'We are up for it and would very much like it to take place. Melbourne's hand is up to host matches and the same goes for Sydney,' he said.

'But the games have to mean something and be competitive to make it work, not just exhibitions.

'But it's unlikely to happen if the authorities are not in favour and both the Australian Federation and the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) have come out in opposition.'