Football fans have reacted angrily to the news that the English Premier League have decided to play matches on foreign soil, with many claiming they will give up supporting football altogether; others say they will still attend matches, but will need to take more Fridays and Mondays off work sick.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore insisted, however, that playing games overseas would protect the domestic game, and generate much-needed revenue which would be re-distributed to clubs at all levels. As well as this, he said, playing matches abroad would provide an excellent opportunity to offload some of the 'undesirable element' amongst English fans.
"We managed to get rid of the working class with all-seater stadia, executive boxes and astronomical admission prices. This latest move will frighten off more of the dregs of society, and make me...I mean...clubs, lots of cash."
As a trial, Mr Scudamore has sanctioned the rearrangement of a number of fixtures, starting with this weekend's Chelsea v. Liverpool game, which will now take place in Alice Springs, Australia. Monday's tussle between Arsenal and Blackburn will be played, not at the Emirates, but in the Emirates, in Dubai.
Other affected games include the League Two clash between Grimsby Town and Chesterfield, which has been moved from Cleethorpes to Basra, and the Blue Square Premier encounter that sees Cambridge United and Stevenage in a three o'clock kick-off at the Boca Juniors Stadium in Buenos Aires.
Because of low worldwide interest in the fixture, Sunderland v. Wigan will still be played at the Stadium of Light.