Liverpool and Manchester United were reportedly behind the plan. But The Premier League clubs in a unanimous decision rejected it at a meeting of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight on Wednesday.
The clubs then agreed to “work together on a new strategic plan for the financing of English football and decided on a £50m rescue package for League One and Two clubs at the meeting.
The Premier League in a statement said further discussions with the EFL over financial support for the Championship will continue.
The Project Big Picture explained
Part of the proposal of ‘Project Big Picture’ was the reduction of the Premier League from 20 to 18 clubs and scrapping the EFL Cup and Community Shield.
It also proposed that the English Football League would get 25% of all future TV deals, which would have been negotiated jointly, plus a £250m bail-out. More powers would also be transferred to the so-called ‘big six’ Premier League clubs.
It also proposed that nine clubs would be given ‘special voting rights’ on certain issues, based on their long time in the Premier League.
20 Premier League clubs to work on a strategic plan after dropping Project Big Picture
According to the Premier League, its members had “agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football. They will also consult “all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive, and sustainable football pyramid”.
“Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.
“This project has the full support of the FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, government, and, of course, the EFL.”
“Clearly there’s some frustration that a proposal that hadn’t had the input from the clubs has been pushed so hard in public.
“We don’t have any beef with the EFL. We have a historic relationship – we want that to be constructive. It was a candid, positive, and – in the end – a unanimous meeting.
“We decided to move on from ‘Big Picture’ and move on to a new review process. Solidarity is incredibly strong so while there’s been a lot said, I don’t think it’s irreparably damaged the Premier League,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said.
No talk about a breakaway league
It could be recalled that FA chairman Greg Clarke said a breakaway league was suggested “as a threat” by the organizers of ‘Project Big Picture’.
“I don’t think anyone has been talking about breaking away. We acknowledge the English model is a huge success but it hasn’t been reviewed for a long time, so maybe there are some systemic issues that haven’t been dealt with,” Masters added.