Liverpool chief wants Premier League matches in New York

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has said that he is “determined” to see a Premier League match played in New York City and can envisage games being played across the world.

There are no plans for Premier League matches to be played outside of the UK, but FIFA’s decision to settle a court case in New York filed by promoter Relevent, has reopened the possibility that competitive fixtures could be played in the United States.

“I’m determined one day to have a Premier League game be played in New York City,” Werner told the Financial Times.

“I even have the sort of crazy idea that there would be a day where we play one game in Tokyo, one game a few hours later in Los Angeles, one game a few hours later in Rio, one game a few hours later in Riyadh and make it sort of a day where football, where the Premier League, is celebrated.”

Werner, recognising how unpopular the move might be with local fans, said he wanted to find a way to make overseas matches beneficial for all.

“Let’s figure out a way to offer them very cheap travel [and] accommodations so that if Liverpool is playing Nottingham Forest, we will support fans coming to New York and make this an attractive thing for the fans as well,” he said.

However, despite Werner’s hopes, Liverpool owner John Henry said that plans for a game in New York were “not something that I advocate or am particularly interested in.”

FIFA has moved towards ending decades of football tradition by reviewing the rules that block domestic league games being played in other countries.

The governing body is now creating a panel of 10-15 people representing football stakeholders to advise within months on amending the rules on so-called “out-of-territory” games. The rules were last amended in 2014.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are expected to be willing to lure competitive games from top European countries.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas said in April that LaLiga was hopeful of playing games overseas.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on April 26 that the league currently has no plans to take games to the U.S., though suggested that could change.

Still, Masters said uncertainty over the court case at the time meant “no one quite knows exactly what is happening but the door looks ajar potentially in America, at any rate, for matches abroad.”

The Supreme Court recently allowed Relevent’s antitrust lawsuit to go forward against FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation over the world governing body’s policy of not permitting a country to host league matches involving teams from other countries.

The high court order leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling in favour of Relevent, controlled by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.


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