Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Cash will talk when games go on the road

By Steven Beacom

Ever been to Selhurst Park? Probably not high on your list of priorities, but if you get a chance to attend a night game there, do it. You won't be disappointed.

The vociferous Crystal Palace fans are sensational. Jose Mourinho would never have to complain about them creating an atmosphere.

They are a responsible bunch, too. On Monday night against Sunderland, they protested at the idea of Premier League matches being played abroad.

Banners were held up saying: "No to the 38th game abroad" and "English games on English soil."

A worthy sentiment. But it won't matter one jot because in the not too distant future English teams WILL be playing each other in the Premier League in a foreign country.

The idea has already been discussed behind closed doors and met with a favourable response.

Forget about the warm glow of tradition and think cold hard cash, because today that's the only thing football clubs really care about.

And by taking Premier League matches around the globe, they'll make plenty of it, just as the NFL have by bringing their fixtures to Wembley.

Yesterday they announced the games to be played in London next season: New York Jets v Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs, in addition to the three matches played at the iconic stadium this season, including the Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville this Sunday.

One day the Superbowl will be played at Wembley and rest assured that before long a Premier League game will kick-off in Dubai, Chicago, Melbourne or elsewhere.

Chelsea Cavaliers v Manchester United Magic is a good bet to be the first!

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