May 28, 2023


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Chelsea owner Todd Boehly pitches Premier League North v South All-Star game

3 min read

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly hopes English football can learn from the model of American sports, suggesting a relegation tournament and an all-star game.

Since taking charge of the Blues after completing a takeover in May, ending Roman Abramovich’s long association with the club, Boehly has not shied away from making a quick impact.

A significant spending spree was financed in the transfer window, with big-name additions as well as recruits for the future, while manager Thomas Tuchel was swiftly axed following a disappointing start to the season.

Boehly’s long-term vision is not just limited to Chelsea, however, as he hopes that English football as a whole can grow, learning from the American sports model.

Unlike the NBA, MLB and NFL, relegation is a huge part of football and, while Boehly is supportive, he believes the Premier League is missing a trick by not having a play-off tournament at the end of the season.

“It obviously prohibits tanking because, of course, the economics of going into the first league is materially different,” he told the SALT Conference when asked about relegation.

“I think the Premier League distributes its media money, and every club gets north of Β£200m or so from the media contract.

“When you go into the next league down in the Championship, those numbers fall off a cliff, right?

“So, there’s no one who’s thinking about tanking and those relegation games are some of the highest broadcast games.

“Ultimately, I hope that the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports and really starts to figure out why wouldn’t we do a tournament with the bottom four teams?

“Why isn’t there an all-star game? The MLB did their all-star game in LA this year, we made 200 million dollars from Monday and Tuesday.

“You could do a North versus South, all-star game for Premier League and fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily.”

Football infamously looked to take a leaf from the American model with the push for a European Super League, which included Chelsea as a founder club, before a fan backlash led to the concept being scrapped.

Boehly did not completely rule out the prospect of a similar idea in the future, though he remains committed to the Champions League structure.

“I think the Champions League has a big component of that [a European Super League] already,” he added.

“You have the best clubs throughout Europe playing in the best competition.

“We believe very much that the Champions League has a lot of that and there’s a reason that if you win the Champions League you make over 100 million euros.”

Pressed that a Super League would see Chelsea play the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich more frequently, he replied: “I think you can do that in the summer and there are other ways to do that.

“I think that the passion that the fans have for the sport and for the sport as it is, is so strong, that it’s hard to envision change.

“I never say hard nos. I like to keep options alive. But, obviously, it’s not something that we’re talking about at all.”

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