Premier League says clubs will not back ‘Project Big Picture’
Premier League clubs have “unanimously agreed” that ‘Project Big Picture’ will not be “endorsed or pursued”.
The controversial plans, proposed by Liverpool and Manchester United, were rejected at a meeting of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight on Wednesday.
Instead, all clubs agreed to “work together” on a new “strategic plan” for the “financing of English football”.
The clubs also decided on a £50m rescue package for League One and Two clubs at the meeting.
A Premier League statement said “discussions will also continue with the EFL” over financial support for the Championship.
‘Project Big Picture’ involved reducing the Premier League from 20 to 18 clubs and scrapping the EFL Cup and Community Shield.
In addition, the English Football League would have got 25% of all future TV deals, which would have been negotiated jointly, plus a £250m bail-out.
However, it would also have seen more power transferred to the so-called ‘big six’ Premier League clubs.
In its statement, the Premier League said 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, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid”.
It added: “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.”
The ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals
- The Premier League cut from 20 to 18 clubs, with the Championship, League One and League Two each retaining 24 teams.
- The bottom two teams in the Premier League relegated automatically with the 16th-placed team joining the Championship play-offs.
- The League Cup and Community Shield abolished.
- Parachute payments scrapped.
- A £250m rescue fund made immediately available to the EFL & 25% of all future TV deals
- £100m paid to the FA to make up for lost revenue.
- Nine clubs given ‘special voting rights’ on certain issues, based on their long time in the Premier League.
The Premier League said the financial package for League One and Two clubs was intended to make sure they “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”.
It conceded they were at more risk as than Premier League and Championship clubs as they “rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal”.
“This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50m on top of the £27.2m solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2m,” added the Premier League statement.
More to follow.