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Prime Minister’s spokesman urges Premier League and EFL to re-think ‘Project Big Picture’ plans
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has urged the Premier League and EFL to keep working on the ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals.
EFL chairman Rick Parry has worked closely with Manchester United and Liverpool to make plans that would allow top-flight sides to help the Football League clubs financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the plans have been deemed controversial with nine out of the 20 top-flight clubs seizing power, and would therefore have more of a say in how operations are run.
The Government are, with Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, claiming this is the wrong time for a ‘power move’.
Now, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman has released a statement, urging a re-think of the current plans.
The statement read: “It’s clear that the proposal does not command support through PL and it is exactly this type of backroom dealing that undermines trust in football’s governance.
“In terms of support for clubs, we have been given assurances by PL and EFL that they have no intention to let any EFL club go bust due to COVID and we know they have the means to prevent that from happening within existing mechanisms.
“We strongly urge PL and EFL to continue to work constructively to come up with a deal that comes up with a package of support for the whole football family.”
The main changes being proposed are a reduction to 18 teams in the Premier League, with the EFL divisions all remaining the same, number-wise.
A £350m ‘rescue fund’ will be available to teams to the EFL for the revenues lost during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 season, so far, due to no supporters being allowed in stadiums.
The Carabao Cup and the Community Shield will no longer go ahead, with parachute payments also being abolished.
The play-off system would be different with the Championship’s third, fourth and fifth-place all taking part, but the Premier League’s 16th-place team will also be involved.
There will be new funding to start a new and independent women’s league.
Finally, the season will start later and pre-season friendlies will be extended.