Scudamore: No Premier League reduction

06 April 2011 10:00

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has ruled out a cut in the size of the top flight and said that UEFA and FIFA have to make space for any winter break.

The league was initially planned to be made up of 18 clubs rather than 20 but Scudamore said there was "no way" the numbers could be reduced now. He told MPs on the culture, media and sport committee that the onus was on UEFA and FIFA to make space available if a winter break was going to be introduced.

He said: "We have to look to our friends at UEFA and FIFA as the culprits. UEFA used to have 13 match days now they want 21. FIFA used to have nine or 10 international dates and now it is averaging 12. Somebody has to give something up."

Scudamore said the Premier League, FA Cup and Carling Cup competitions had all reduced the number of match days in the last 20 years.

He added: "If we had 18 teams [instead of 20] it would mean going from 380 events to 306 and there is no way we would do that in terms of public interest and fan interest."

Meanwhile, Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards claimed ex-FA chairman Lord Triesman was the man responsible for agreeing a new deal with England manager Fabio Capello - and insisted that he had just been left to "pick up the pieces".

Triesman last month said he had nothing to do with removing a clause in Capello's contract, allowing the Italian to stay until 2012.

But Richards told MPs that Triesman had made the decision, which the FA admitted last week had been a "mistake" because it should have been passed by the FA board.

Richards said that he was informed at a meeting in April last year that Triesman had agreed Capello could stay until 2012 - the FA chairman then resigned the following month.

He said: "It was the first time I had heard of that, it had been pre-agreed with the chairman. Unfortunately I had to pick up the pieces from that and had to bear the brunt of the blame. I wouldn't take a decision like that on my own - I have always been one to consult."

Source: PA

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