Liverpool football club and Manchester United reportedly partnered to come up with a proposal tagged “Project Big Picture” to restructure football in England which the Premier League is not happy about.
In reaction to the viral proposal, the Premier League issued a statement on Sunday to insist that the details on the proposal can damage the reputation of English football which the league body described as the most-watched in the world.
The league body used the statement to slam the EFL chief Rick Parry who has openly declared his support for the “damaging” Project Big Picture. The league body insisted that open discussion remained the best practice and urged all football stakeholders in the country to work together.
A Premier League statement issued on Sunday read: “We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this country.
“English football is the world’s most-watched and has a vibrant, dynamic, and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe.
“To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together.
“Both the Premier League and The FA support a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game, including its competition structures, calendar, and overall financing particularly in light of the effects of COVID-19.
“Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute.
“In the Premier League’s view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support.
“The Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for COVID-19 rescue funding. This work will continue.”
What is Project Big Picture?
The Project Big Picture is said to be a planned effort that is being led by the two most successful Premier League clubs, Liverpool football club and Manchester United to reshape football in England.
It seeks to give more power to the top 6 Premier League clubs in terms of decision making in the league especially on club ownership, new regulations, transfer matters, and other financial matters. Hence, the proposal seeks to end the one-club, one-vote structure of the Premier League.
More so, Project Big Picture seeks to reduce the number of Premier League clubs from 20 to 18 and also reduce the number of clubs that will go on relegation and gain promotion from three to two.
The most interesting aspect of the proposal for EFL clubs (lower league clubs) is that Project Big Picture seeks to give £250 million to the lower league clubs that have been suffering from a drastic drop in revenue due to lack of matchday activities at match venues.
Another interesting part of the proposal is that £100 million will be paid to the FA to run non-league, grassroots football and for the FA to cover its losses which the football governing body incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is the full outline of the proposal
- The Premier League will be reduced from 20 teams to 18.
- Two sides automatically relegated from the top-flight, while the top two from the Championship are promoted.
- The club who finishes 16th in the Premier League will be put in a play-off with the third, fourth and fifth-placed teams from the Championship.
- The overall number of clubs in the professional game will be reduced from 92 to 90, with 24 clubs each competing in the Championship, League One, and League Two.
- The League Cup and the Community Shield will be abolished.
- Along with the £250m sent to the EFL, the FA will receive a one-off £100m payment to cover their coronavirus losses, as well as to help fund non-league, women’s, and the grassroots structure.
- The Premier League will spend 8.5 percent of its annual revenue on operating costs and also “good causes” including the FA.
- EFL clubs will receive 25 percent of the combined Premier League and Football League revenues.
- There will be a focus on stadium improvements across the top four divisions, will six percent of Premier League gross revenues put to one side to help oversee this.
- There will be a shake-up of the way Premier League television income, both overseas and domestic, is distributed.
- Financial Fair Play regulations will be in line with UEFA.
- A focus on the fans which includes away tickets capped at £20 and away travel subsidized. A return to safe standing is also in the pipeline and a minimum away allocation of eight percent capacity.
- Pre-season friendlies will be given greater scope, which would mean a later Premier League start in August. Clubs may also be required to take part in a Premier League tournament once every five years.
- Clubs will be allowed to have 15 players out on loan domestically in a huge change to the system, while up to four at a single club in England will also be given the green light.