Gill cold on 39th step

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Manchester United chief executive David Gill has dismissed the prospect of a 39th game being added to the Premier League season despite the phenomenal support the Red Devils are receiving on their current Far East tour.

Malaysian supporters booed their own national side in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, such is the fervour with which they hold United, while supporters have been mounting a 24-hour vigil outside the team hotel in Seoul since Sir Alex Ferguson and his side landed in South Korea on Wednesday night.

Similar scenes would have been expected in Jakarta if United had not been forced to cancel their visit following last week's suicide bombings, and there is more to come in China at the weekend, when the Red Devils tackle Hangzhou Greentown.

Little wonder senior football figures believe it is time the controversial 39th game proposal was revived after its initial airing received a hostile reception.

As the man in charge of England's most profitable club, Gill might have seen the attraction of such a plan, particularly as United have a £700million debt to service.

However, Gill thinks the plan is unworkable, either as an additional fixture tagged on to the present 38 games, or incorporated within it.

"It is highly unlikely," said Gill. "If you are talking about a 39th game how do you get the symmetry? If it was the 38th whose home game would it be? How do you decide who will play where?

"The domestic competition is the domestic competition. The Premier League is the Premier League in England.

"The Premier League should still look at opportunities and ideas but I cannot see an extra game happening. It would be a step too far."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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