Harry Redknapp fears for future of English football
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp believes Premier League games could end up being played around the world
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is concerned that the influx of foreign owners into English football will drastically alter the face of the game and ultimately result in matches being played all over the world.
Redknapp is worried that overseas owners will eventually have enough power to challenge the format of the English leagues after reports this week claimed that some club representatives want Premier League promotion and relegation to be scrapped.
“You can’t have too many foreign owners coming in here wanting to change our game,” Redknapp told a news conference. “Eventually, you will end up playing loads of games around the world. That will happen.
“They will take the games to where they want to play them. If you have owners from China, India, Russia, America, they will want to take their teams there to play. I can see that will happen.
“It is a world game so I can see that as a possibility. When you go to Asia now the support and following is amazing for the Premier League.”
The 64-year-old Spurs boss also took the opportunity to pour scorn over suggestions that promotion and relegation from England’s top flight could be axed if a number of foreign owners get their way.
League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan on Monday confirmed that some clubs owned by foreigners have already voiced their support for a possible vote to abolish relegation.
But Redknapp has dismissed the concept as “scandalous”, insisting that the current format is an important part of the league’s appeal.
“How can you not have promotion and relegation? It’s scandalous,” he said. “What is the league about? When the play-offs first came in in the Championship and the first and second divisions, people said we don’t want the play-offs, but they have been a fantastic thing.
“It keeps the league going. Years ago, with 10 games to go, the league was over. If you were not going to win the league be promoted or relegated then you would switch off, now everyone is fighting for something.
“It is competition, teams trying to stay up. What is more exciting than the last day of the season when teams are looking to stay up and win the championship? You have to have promotion and relegation.”