Premier League Readies 'Theme Park' World Tour

Article excerpt

The Premier League is to launch a global exhibition called Premier League Park, a touring theme park featuring exhibition games between England's top club sides.

The park would be aimed at promoting the Premier League internationally.

Barclays is considering signing up as the lead sponsor of the exhibition and tour. However, any deal is likely to depend on the bank renegotiating its title sponsorship of the Premier League, which is worth an estimated pounds 20m a year.

It is understood that the league hopes to stage up to eight exhibition matches a year, with China, India, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi among the locations under consideration.

The proposal has met with resistance from some of the Premiership's most influential teams, including the 'big four' - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. They are concerned that the plans are a precursor to non-domestic league matches. This opposition to extra games taking place during the season means the fixtures may be played in the pre-season period.

Last year, the Premiership came under fire for expressing its desire to stage an additional league game each season. …