Time to cash in

Playing Premiership games abroad is only the beginning - if all the stadiums were redundant Tesco an

I don't know why so many people have been beastly to that nice, caring Mr Scudamore of the Premier League. His idea of having ten Prem games a year played abroad, going to the highest bidder, is far-sighted. Dunno why it's taken so long. After all, football ceased to be an amateur game in 1885. Surely, the one and only object today is to make money, then plough it back into the pockets of chairmen, chief executives, shareholders and owners. What's wrong with that?

Yet even Gordon Brown has criticised it, saying that fans have to come first. Where has he been? Supporting Raith Rovers, that's where. No wonder he's still living in the Dark Ages. Fans are mugs, right. They are there to be mugged.

All that wise old Scuders is trying to do is maximise the brand by thinking globally. For far too long, our naive, short-sighted club owners - the butchers, builders and local solicitors who owned our clubs for the first century or so - thought only about their local areas. Dummies. Thank goodness for the arrival of these clever foreign owners, especially the Americans.

But it's only the beginning. I've now had a quiet word with Scuders ("shush", that was it) and he's given me, in total confidence, some of their next money-making stages:

All Prem games to be played abroad, all season, even Derby's. Bids are already in from Dubai - to stop Singapore getting it.

Which means all Prem stadiums will become redundant, but not for long. Negotiations are advanced with Tesco and Sainsbury's to take them over. Old Trafford and Emirates are expected to go for £1bn each.

Prem fans will have to stay at home and watch games on telly, which will mean more satellite subscriptions - and bigger TV fees.

The Championship will then become the top English league, with West Brom, Watford and Bristol City getting massive increases in gates and attention - all round the world. We've acquired the Championship, secretly, in order to sell its games to countries that love English footer but can't quite afford the Prem, such as Botswana.

Eventually, when we've sold global rights in the Blue Square League, we'll move on to women's football. Then primary schools.

Meanwhile, we plan to sell the TV rights to all the training sessions back home. We'll charge extra to film in the showers.

Prawn sandwich brigades and hospitality box owners, who will lose out when Old Trafford and Emirates are sold, will be offered the chance to sit with the players in the team coach to Heathrow, then on the plane to Dubai, price £1m a game.

Poorer fans, about whom we care deeply, will be able to travel with the Carlisle United team to play Hartlepool in Gaborone, Botswana, for only £100,000, plus VAT.

Girls will no longer be allowed to sleep with star Prem players for nothing. That's one lesson we've learned from the Man United Xmas party and photos of spare girls having to queue up outside. Tickets for entry to private parties with the players will be sold by the Prem clubs to the highest bidders.

Personal access will be available on eBay. Ten minutes with Ronaldo will be a minimum of £1m. Rooney will be slightly less, about 3s 6d old money. After all, they do it with horses, charging stud fees. It's all a matter of demand and supply. Clearly, Prem players - and the Prem League as a whole - have been giving away their favours far too cheaply. Time to cash in.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 18 February 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Naughty nation