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Werner backs 39th game
Published : 05 Nov 2010 22:00:31
Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner has revived talk of a controversial 39th Premier League game to be played overseas.
The concept was met with criticism when it was initially suggested by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. FIFA president Sepp Blatter also condemned the proposals, but Werner, who bought Liverpool last month along with John W Henry of New England Sports Ventures, believes the idea could still have legs.
As well as Liverpool, NESV also own the Boston Red Sox and, after witnessing another NFL game being staged at Wembley, Werner believes the Premier League could succeed overseas. When asked if he supported the idea he told BBC Sport: "Absolutely. I think that first of all the EPL is the strongest league in the world and its reach is global."
He added: "It's been very impressive to me the number of people globally who watch the EPL and we hope to expand that imprint. I think that the more important the game the more excitement. Friendlies are great, but why not have an actual match in season."
Werner also assured Liverpool's fans that he and Henry are determined to bring success back to Anfield.
The club have not won the league since 1990 and have seen their haul of 18 titles equalled by Manchester United, whose manager Sir Alex Ferguson has successfully carried out his promise to knock Liverpool off their perch.
Reclaiming the mantle of England's most successful club is something that excites Werner and he has drawn comparisons between how the Red Sox have managed to close the gap between themselves and the New York Yankees.
"I think that would be a good comparison," he said. "The Yankees continue to have the best revenues in baseball but we have been successful in playing them head-to-head and we expect to play Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and other clubs head-to-head.
"There will be trophies in that trophy case going forward. It's a pledge. I don't know when we will honour that pledge but we will honour it.
"We're going to make steady progress. We're in a very competitive league but we won't settle for anything less than first."