The proposals – crafted by the Liverpool owners and backed by Manchester United – were revealed on Sunday and would change the Premier League’s voting structure as well as the funding models for the English Football League and the FA.
The proposed changes would place the majority of power in the hands of the biggest clubs, ending the current system of one club and one Premier League vote.
This change of power would be opposed by the FA, which has the power to veto any fundamental change in the Premier League thanks to the “golden share” which was granted to it when the league was created in 1992.
Titres de Project Big Picture
- Premier League reduced from 18 to 20 clubs
- Two Premier League teams automatically relegated each season and replaced by the top two teams in the league
- 16th-ranked Premier League club enter play-off with 3rd, 4th and 5th league clubs
- EFL Cup and Community Shield deleted
- Special status for the nine oldest Premier League clubs (big six, plus Everton, West Ham and Southampton)
- Immediate compensation of £ 250m to EFL
- 8.5% of the Premier League’s annual revenue is spent on operating costs and
- 25% of the remaining income goes to EFL
- Parachute Payments Removed
- Immediate payment of £ 100million to the FA to cover loss of income and develop non-league, women’s and grassroots football
Despite the fact that the plans would see their power over the management of the Premier League increase, the rest of the big six clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham – are also said to have reservations.
The majority of the remaining 14 Premier League clubs have serious concerns about the proposals, even West Ham – who would be given special status as one of the league’s oldest teams – have said they are not in favor.
Premier League clubs, which have already suffered a financial crisis during the coronavirus pandemic, are believed to fear the plans will negatively impact their accounts.
The proposal to reduce the Premier League from 20 to 18 clubs would have the effect of removing two home games from each club’s calendar, as well as increasing the risk of relegation to the league.
Any change in the structure of the Premier League requires the support of 14 of the current 20 clubs. As it stands, the proposals are unlikely to be backed by that number, meaning the FA won’t be forced to decide to use its veto.
Premier League shareholders are meeting this week – likely Wednesday – while there is an FA board and board meeting on Thursday, with the Big Picture project likely high on the agenda of the two meetings.
‘Like turkeys voting for Christmas’
Sky Sports News Journalist, Kaveh Solhekol:
“My understanding of the situation is that the FA would not support these proposals in their current form. This is very important because the FA has a ‘golden share’ in the Premier League. If these proposals were to be voted on, the FA could veto them.
“What about Premier League club support? My understanding of the situation is that Premier League clubs, on the whole, are very lukewarm when it comes to their response to these proposals.
“You would expect the ‘big six’ to be in their favor because it gives them so much power, but even among these clubs there are significant reservations. I also don’t think West Ham would support these proposals at all.
“My understanding of the situation is that a lot of Premier League clubs think that voting for these proposals would be like a turkey voting for Christmas. Their finances would be affected. Their finances have already been affected by the pandemic.
“Under these proposals, the Premier League would be reduced to 18 clubs, which would mean two fewer home games per season. In addition, 25% of the television rights would be ceded to EFL. Finally – and this is very important – because there would be only 18 clubs in the Premier League, there would be an increased threat of relegation.
“Overall, the majority of Premier League clubs are not in favor of these proposals. “
Premier League: proposals would damage English game
Following the publication of Liverpool’s proposals and Manchester United’s Big Picture project, the Premier League released a statement outlining their opposition.
It read: “English football is the most watched football in the world and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that arouses interest around the world. To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together.
“The Premier League and the FA are supporting a wide-ranging discussion about the future of the game, including its competitive structures, timeline and overall funding, especially in light of the effects of Covid-19.
“Football has many stakeholders, which is why this work must be carried out through the appropriate channels allowing all clubs and stakeholders to contribute.
“In the Premier League’s view, a number of individual proposals in the plan released today could have a negative impact on the whole game and we are disappointed that Rick Parry, EFL President, gave his file. support.
“The Premier League has worked in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to find a solution to the Covid-19 rescue funding requirement. This work will continue. “
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson made it clear on Monday that the Prime Minister also does not support the plans for the Big Picture Project.
The spokesperson said: “It is clear that this proposal does not generate support throughout the Premier League, and it is exactly this type of behind-the-scenes transaction that undermines confidence in the governance of football. “
‘Extremely attractive plans for EFL’
While the Big Picture project drew much criticism, EFL President Rick Parry backed the proposals, saying they provide “long-term sustainability” to clubs under his jurisdiction.
The plans would see EFL teams receive a £ 250million package, along with 25% of the Premier League-brokered television deals.
Speaking on Sunday evening, Parry said: “This is a proposal to reset the long-term future of the English pyramid.
“This would result in long term sustainability for all of our clubs. This would narrow the gap between the Championship and the Premier League. This would abolish parachute payments, which would create a major imbalance within the championship. Plus, there is a short term package of immediate relief.
“It’s probably the biggest idea since forming the Premier League. In terms of rebalancing the game, providing fairer shares for everyone, securing the financial future of the pyramid – for us, that’s extremely attractive. ”
Parry is expected to meet with the League, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs on Tuesday to explain in detail how he thinks the Big Picture Project will affect them.
‘Preston would welcome the proposals’
Peter Ridsdale, the former Leeds and Cardiff chairman who now acts as an adviser to Preston, can see why the proposals have been welcomed by some in the Football League – including Preston.
The prospect of sharing 25% of the Premier League’s annual revenue with Football League clubs each year, compared to 4%, is a huge financial incentive.
However, he questioned the merits of imposing structure in the Premier League, concentrating power around the top six, when the teams that finish in those positions can and do change over time.
“If you take every kind of 10-year period you find, due to evolution and maybe different levels of investment, the clubs that are in the top six at any given time are not the top six. in 10 or 20 years. “Time,” Ridsdale said.
“So to try to put in place a voting structure that almost guarantees that status, I would raise my eyebrows if I were to be in the Premier League – which of course I’m not.
“From a Football League perspective, I can see why people would accept it and we definitely would. It seems to me that there is potentially three times as much money being offered, once that is determined, on a seasonal basis. “