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Premiership sides Man City & Arsenal have their own 39th game


Football News 24/7
Manchester City play Arsenal in Bejing's Bird's Nest Stadium on Friday, in a game that reflects the Premier League's shelved idea of a 39th game on neutral soil. The Premier League may have given the idea the boot, but the club's know how lucrative the Far East market is. Arsenal, Man United and Man City are all on Far East tours. The money spinning clash between Man City and Arsenal will receive a huge TV audience in China, Malaysia and other Asian countries as the clubs pay homage to this huge emerging market.

The irony is that one star - Robin Van Persie is missing from Arsenal's line-up as Arsenne Wenger gives some of his new talent a showcase. In the City camp, Roberto Mancini seems to have accepted his efforts to sign Van Persie look doomed to fail. He said as much to the press yesterday, as both Manchester United and Juventus look favourites.

Gone are the days when Premier League sides headed for secret training camps in Austria - Arsenal will spend two weeks in the Far East in what is a blatant commercially driven excecise - they follow the stint in China and the game against City with a trip to Malaysia, where Man United have already been!

With media and merchandising opportunities outstriping home sales for the top clubs it is no surprise that they all feel honour bound to fly east.


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