Premier League

Man Utd & Liverpool defeated as Project Big Picture is dead

The two Premier League giants had proposed new changes to the top tier, but the suggestions have been shot down by the rest of the league

 
4:20pm on Wednesday 14th October 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Project Big Picture, proposed principally by Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United, met with an acrimonious end on Wednesday after its ideals were wholly rejected by the other PL members.

The big two had put together a proposal offering a financial package for the Football League as well as removing the League Cup and reducing the Premier League down to 18 teams.

But with those concessions came voting stipulations, which would tip the power in favour of the established 'Big Six', which includes Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham.

Other 'traditional' powers such as Everton, Southampton and West Ham would also have been granted additional vetoes to any league restructuring under the regulations.

But the other Premier League clubs informed Liverpool and Manchester United today that the deal could not be agreed to, effectively killing the project dead in its current form.

According to the Telegraph, Premier League spokesman said: “Premier League Shareholders today unanimously agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football.

"Premier League clubs also agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed by the Premier League, any of its clubs or The FA.”

The clubs will reconvene at a future date to reconsider a revised bailout package for the Football League, with a number of sides in dire financial trouble as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Premier League statement in full:

All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that "Project Big Picture" will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA.

Further, Premier League Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.

Open and transparent process

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.

Rescue packages for Leagues One and Two

Also at today's meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season.

League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.

This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50million on top of the £27.2million solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2million.

Talks on Championship finances

Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs’ financial needs. This addresses Government concerns about lower-league clubs' financial fragility.

Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.

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