Todd Boehly’s proposals to revolutionize the Premier League’s relegation format and introduce an American All-Star-style game were savaged by Craig Burley as he branded the suggestions ‘horse manure’.
The Chelsea chairman raised some eyebrows this week after he suggested the Premier League could learn from American sports.
Boehly proposed an All-Star North vs South game in the Premier League and suggested that a ‘four-team tournament’ should decide relegation from the English top-flight rather than the current three-down format.
Todd Boehly’s Premier League proposals were savaged by ESPN pundit Craig Burley
The proposals left some of soccer’s biggest stars baffled, including Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry.
And ESPN pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Burley became the latest to slam the American owner as he trashed the ideas.
After Boehly claimed American sports could teach the top-flight a thing or two, Burley insisted the 48-year-old knew nothing about relegation, considering the concept does not exist in most US sports, as he claimed they ‘reward garbage’.
‘Horse manure. Absolute horse manure,’ he said on ESPN FC. Let me point out some things here.
Former Chelsea midfielder Burley became the latest to slam the American owner’s ideas
‘He’s talking about relegation – and they do this in other leagues where they have playoffs in the relegation from different tiers – what American sport has relegation? Unless I’m missing something, the answer is none.
‘So what the hell does he know about relegation? Because his sports don’t have it. What they will have over there, they reward not even mediocrity, they reward garbage. That’s what they want.
‘You can finish bottom of the league in most of these sports and you get a bucket load of cash. You don’t get relegated.’
In a wide-ranging interview at the SALT conference in New York Tuesday, Boehly said: ‘Why isn’t there an all-star game? People are talking about more money for the pyramid. With the all-star game in LA this year, we made $200 million from a Monday and a Tuesday.
Boehly made the suggestion while speaking at the SALT conference in New York on Tuesday
‘You could have a North versus South all-star game for the Premier League and fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily.’
He then added: ‘Listen, I think everyone likes the idea of more revenue for the league.’
But Burley slated Boehly’s call for more funds, insisting Premier League clubs will not need more money, before adding that the players will not need another game.
The Scot, who played for Chelsea between 1989 and 1997, also insisted that there would be a lack of appetite for the All-Star game from supporters.
He stressed that fans want to support their own teams and not assembled northern and southern teams.
‘The second thing is, he’s talking about $200 million or whatever it is,’ Burley continued. ‘Has he not watched the graph juts grow and grow and the amount of money the Premier League makes around the world?
‘I mean it is making a fortune. It has gone up every year as broadcasters pay more and more and more. They don’t need the money. They certainly don’t need the extra game.
And frankly there would be no appetite from players, there certainly wouldn’t be any appetite from managers and I really don’t think there would be any appetite at all from the supporters.
American sports such as the NFL and NBA host an annual all-star game, with LA Lakers superstar LeBron James (pictured) a constant presence in the exhibition-style contest
Supporters want to support their own teams. What they don’t want, in my opinion, is some clap-trap Americanized plastic rivalry invention.’
‘Todd Boehly has got enough on his plate trying to rebuild this Chelsea team to compete with the best.
So fine, have your opinion but it’s nothing more than in-the-door-two-minute clap-trap.
‘Can you imagine ringing Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah? When Todd Boehly pitched up at their house to see if they wanted to play in the North v South game, they’d open the curtains and stick two fingers up at him. “Sod off, got enough games. Go back to London.”‘
The idea of a ‘North vs South All-Star game’ would presumably feature the Premier League’s best players split into two sides by geography.
It would likely see rivals such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City play on the same team, likewise Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Boehly’s proposal would see rivals such as Manchester United and Liverpool on the same team