New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has come up with a couple of interesting ideas for the Premier League.

Speaking at a conference this week, Boehly said he would like to see the EPL take lessons from American sport, where he owns a variety of different baseball and basketball teams.

One of his ideas was having ‘All-Star’ games with players from northern clubs taking on those from southern clubs. Another was changing the relegation system from the bottom three automatically going down to a four-team mini-tournament.

Now, I’m going to be honest, I don’t dislike either of those.

The All-Star game idea could be entertaining, although I’m not sure it’s entirely workable in England. It’s fine for the NBA because you have a natural split with Eastern and Western leagues already in place. Any division between north and south in the Premier League, however, would be entirely subjective as where does one end and the other begin?

Not to mention the fact it would be politically controversial outside the world of football at a time when the English government is busily trying to downplay any north/south divide.

The relegation play-offs are less controversial and more workable. Speaking as a fan of a team that has been in the play-offs on a regular basis (without ever winning), I must admit they do bring a huge amount of additional excitement to the end of season (personally followed by disappointment).

But the problem with both of Boehly’s ideas is scheduling – where the heck is English football supposed to find the space to play extra games?

Jurgen Klopp – long a passionate opponent of the amount of football played in England – jumped straight in when told of Boehly’s All-Star suggestion.

“Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well? When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports these players have four-month breaks. Maybe he can explain that.”

And, while I agree with Klopp about the All-Star games being a stretch in an already packed calendar, the relegation tournament may be easier to fit in.

The bottom four teams are highly unlikely to be involved in any European or domestic finals, so they should be able to find space to play a couple of extra games at the end of the season.

If I were the Premier League, I would put that particular idea on the agenda at their next wine-and-cheese brainstorming party.

That’s the positives about Boehly’s plans out the way. Now for the bit that really irks me: there was only one thought in his mind when he threw these ideas in the ring – money. More and more money.

Had he made those suggestions on the basis of adding a new, fun twist to football in the interests of excitement, then I would have given him a round of applause for at least putting ideas forward.

But his only interest is in lining pockets, as he made clear during the conference.

“Everyone likes the idea of more revenue for the league,” he said, rubbing his hands in an evil way (probably).

And by ‘everyone’ he obviously means ‘everyone who owns a Premier League club’. Which is a very small ‘everyone’.

Why do these people, who already have more money than a normal human could dream of spending in 200 lifetimes, insist on trying to find ways of milking the same cow over and over again?

Because, let’s face it, it is the fans that would be expected to ultimately fund these additional revenue streams, either paying at the turnstiles or handing over money to TV companies for the honour of watching at home.

Boehly and his merry band of club owners are determined to squeeze every last penny out of English football fans in order to make their cushy lives even cushier and their well-lined pockets even, er, linier.

And, on that basis, Todd, you can take your All-Star game and relegation tournament and stick them where the sun don’t shine. I’m thinking south rather than north…

The greatest signing ever?

With 13 goals in nine games for Manchester City, Erling Haaland is proving what we all suspected to be true:  he is a ridiculously brilliant footballer.

In fact, I think I could argue with a reasonable degree of confidence that he is now the best, most complete, striker on the planet.

The Norwegian’s latest strike came on Wednesday in the Champions League against his old club Borussia Dortmund. And if there was any team on earth that should have known how to stop him finding the back of the net, it was the one for which he scored a staggering 86 goals in 89 games.

Yet although the German team kept him relatively quiet for most of the match, he still managed to pop up with an 84th-minute winner. And a bloody incredible, acrobatic one at that. A goal that very few other current strikers would have had the ability or audacity to score.

As far as the Premier League title goes, assuming Haaland remains fit and healthy, I think we might as well just hand the trophy to City now, and everyone else can have fun battling it out for second place.

And I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility that Erling is, as many believed, the missing piece in the elusive Manchester City Champions League winning jigsaw.

It’s early days so far in Europe’s top competition, but the young lad could be the difference between another near miss and Pep getting his hands on the trophy he desperately craves.

All in all, when you consider City only paid €60 million for Haaland and the fact that he is still just 22, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests this may well be the greatest transfer of all time.

Manchester United, Liverpool and all the other Premiership big boys must be wondering how they let him slip through their fingers and kicking themselves every time the young assassin hits the back of the net.

And, at this rate, that kicking is going to lead to some rather heavy bruising…

Twitter: @maltablade

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