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14th Sep 2022

Gary Neville warns US investment in English football ‘clear and present danger’

Simon Lloyd

Boehly’s grand plan doesn’t seem to be going down too well

Gary Neville has warned that American investment in English football is a ‘clear and present danger’ to the pyramid and has repeated calls on Twitter for a regulator to be introduced quickly.

Neville has been outspoken in his criticism of the Glazer Family’s ownership of his former club Manchester United, again calling for them to sell up after a sustained wave of supporter protests over the last year.

On Wednesday he tweeted: ‘I keep saying it but the quicker we get the Regulator in the better. US investment into English football is a clear and present danger to the pyramid and fabric of the game. They just don’t get it and think differently. They also don’t stop till they get what they want!’

The tweet comes after comments by Chelsea co-controlling owner Todd Boehly outlined plans to revolutionise elements of English football to try to boost broadcast revenue.

Speaking at the Salt conference in New York on Tuesday, Boehly suggested a Premier League All-Star Game and a four-team tournament comprising of sides at the bottom of the top flight.

“Ultimately I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,” Boehly said. “And really starts to figure out, why don’t we do a tournament with the bottom four sports teams, why isn’t there an All-Star game?

“People are talking about more money for the pyramid; in the MLB All-Star game this year we made $200m from a Monday and a Tuesday. So we’re thinking we could do a North versus South All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed quite easily.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was one of the first to be asked about Boehly’s proposal. Speaking after his side’s 2-1 Champions League win over Ajax on Tuesday, he appeared less than impressed by the idea: “He doesn’t wait long. When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports these players have four-month breaks.”

“Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well?” he added, sarcastically.

“Maybe he can explain that. I’m not sure people want to see that – United players, Liverpool players, City players, Everton players all together. It is not the national team. Did he really say it?”

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