The idea of hosting the FA Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, out of the country does not find favour with Sir Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United manager believes holding it outside England is not a good idea as the game takes place so close to the start of the new Premier League season. As the Premier League are looking at ways to expand the game to other parts of the world, an extra Premier League match - the so-called 39th game - and the Community Shield have been mentioned as possible ventures to exploit the growing interest worldwide.
The Dubai Sports City and Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City are possible venues to host such games in the forseeable future. Ferguson, whose side meet Portsmouth in this season's curtain-raiser at Wembley on August 10, voiced his displeasure at a possible switch. "I would hope not, for the simple reason that you have only seven days before the start of the season," he said. "It's too close to the start of the season as far as I'm concerned.
"If you look at our pre-seasons over the years, we've always given players plenty of time to recover from our trips. "I would not want it to happen. I think Wembley is the perfect stage," he said after Manchester United wrapped up their tour of South Africa. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org