By Chris Harris

Keith Edelman believes the Premier League's proposal for a '39th game' needs to be analysed properly before a decision can be made over its suitability.

The Football Association rejected the idea of an international round of matches at a board meeting on Thursday. Edelman is open-minded about the issue but he suspects that the Premier League's plans have been dismissed too quickly.

"The Premier League came to shareholders and asked to vote for a continuation of the review of the 39th game proposal," said Edelman. "We voted in favour of the continuation of the review and I haven't changed my mind on that point.

"I think we need to have an in-depth analysis and when that's completed we'll sit down and look at it again.

"I think what we've seen in terms of the responses to the proposal have been more on the emotional side than the rational side. There have been a lot of people against it and that's possibly because they haven't seen the details of the proposal.

"We need to finish the review and then look at it analytically and rationally."

Like Arsène Wenger, Edelman believes that a major benefit of a '39th game' would be to give Arsenal's millions of overseas fans a chance to see their team in action.

"I think that the main reason that the Premier League started to think along those lines is that, if you take Arsenal as an example, we have a few million fans in the UK and there are larger numbers overseas.

"The question is how do you give fans overseas who regard Premier Leage clubs as their club, how do you best serve their requirements to follow their team?

"At present they can only see that via the televised product we send out across the world. That's the beginning of why the proposal was developed. Now we need the space to have those rational debates and reviews."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 22 Feb 2008