Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has hit out at Blues owner Todd Boehly for suggesting that the Premier League should have an All-Star match to help raise funds for English Football League (EFL) clubs.
Boehly has grabbed headlines ever since he replaced Roman Abramovich as Chelsea’s owner in May. From naming himself as the interim sporting director of the club in June to firing Thomas Tuchel as head coach after splurging over £250 million this summer, he has been subject to criticism more often than not.
The Blues chairman again raised some eyebrows this week after proclaiming at the SALT Conference that English football could learn from American sports. He also proposed an All-Star match and suggested a four-team tournament to decide relegation from the Premier League.
Speaking on ESPN, Burley rubbished Boehly’s ideas and claimed that fans would not be interested in an All-Star game. He said:
“Horse manure. Absolute horse manure. Let me point out some things here. He’s talking about relegation – and they do 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 do have over there, they reward not even mediocrity, they reward garbage. That’s what they do. 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.”
“The second thing is, he’s talking about $200 million or whatever it is. Has he not watched the graph just 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. Supporters want to support their own teams. What they don’t want, in my opinion, is some clap-trap Americanized plastic rivalry invention.”
After appointing Graham Potter as Chelsea’s new boss, Boehly is currently aiming to bring in a new sporting director at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea in talks to buy Portuguese club
According to The Telegraph, Chelsea have been holding talks to acquire a new club in Portugal. Earlier in June, Blues owner Todd Boehly held discussions with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes and academy manager Neil Bath regarding a potential bid to purchase a club.
Boehly and his board of directors have planned to set up a network of feeder clubs all around the globe to develop young talent elsewhere. The club hierarchy at Stamford Bridge were inspired by the multi-club model set by City Football Group (CFG) and Red Bull GmbH.