Scudamore confident over all-English final

April 30, 2008

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admitted an all-English Champions League final in Moscow presents a 'logistical challenge' but he will not press for a change of venue.

Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Barcelona ensured the showpiece final at the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21 will be between the Red Devils and either Chelsea and Liverpool, who meet at Stamford Bridge tonight.

Despite the potential for trouble in the Russian capital after security problems in Athens last year Scudamore said he will not lobby for a late change of venue.

'Absolutely not - imagine if a Champions League final, or a major event, was scheduled to take place at Wembley and two Italian teams or Spanish teams got through,' Scudamore told BBC Radio 5 Live.

'At the end of the day it's UEFA's competition and UEFA will know the security issues. There are host cities who bid for these events. It is an important part of football development in Moscow and Russia and therefore there is no way we would get involved in suggesting that.

'We, and the clubs, would offer any help to UEFA to use our experience to make sure everything goes off smoothly as possible.

'Clearly it is a logistical challenge for fans. But it is a challenge whoever is involved and it will be an exciting challenge. There are going to be stories to tell grandchildren about how you got there, and how it all happened - it is going to be fantastic.'

Scudamore believes an all-Premier League final shows the strength of the domestic game in England.

'I think it is a credit to the clubs - it is the players that have done it, it is the management of those teams that have done it,' he said.

'Clearly we think the Premier League is a decent platform from which to launch a European campaign such as this and well done to all of them.

'I can tell you that we are very happy. Here we are 21 days away from knowing the Champions League will have an English winner - we can't even say that about the FA Cup!'

Scudamore also admitted proposals by FIFA president Sepp Blatter for a quota system on foreign players to develop home-grown talent is not workable in the Premier League or elsewhere in Europe.

'I don't it will ever fly in Europe - the legal situation won't allow it,' Scudamore added. '220 English players have taken the field in the Premier League this season which is a nice round number.

'You need 11 for a team, it's actually 20 complete teams of English players are available for selection.

'Surely we have enough to put a decent England team out. If you look at the players on show last night and those tonight there is some fantastic English talent around.

'And there is no reason why this success can't be translated to the national team success.'