Premier League and Government speak out against proposals; EFL chairman Rick Parry due to meet clubs on Tuesday to explain plans
The Football Association is understood to be against the Project Big Picture proposals, which would reshape professional football in England, while Premier League clubs are said to have serious concerns.
The proposals – drawn up by Liverpool’s owners and backed by Manchester United – were revealed on Sunday and would change the voting structure of the Premier League as well as funding models for the English Football League and the FA.
The proposed changes would put the majority of power into the hands of the biggest clubs, ending the Premier League’s current one-club, one-vote system.
This power shift is understood to be opposed by the FA, which has the power to veto any fundamental changes to the Premier League thanks to the ‘golden share’ it was given when the league was created in 1992.
Headlines from Project Big Picture
- Premier League reduced from 18 to 20 clubs
- Two Premier League sides automatically relegated each season and replaced by top two Championship sides
- 16th-placed Premier League club enters play-off with 3rd, 4th and 5th-placed Championship clubs
- EFL Cup and Community Shield abolished
- Special status for nine longest-serving Premier League clubs (big six, plus Everton, West Ham and Southampton)
- £250m immediate compensation to EFL
- 8.5 per cent of annual Premier League revenue to go on operating costs and to
- 25 per cent of the remaining revenue to go to the EFL
- Parachute payments scrapped
- £100m immediate payment to FA to cover lost revenue and to develop non-league, women’s and grassroots football
Despite the fact that the plans would see their power over the running of the Premier League increase, the rest of the big-six clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham – are also understood to have reservations.
The majority of the remaining 14 Premier League clubs have serious concerns over the proposals, with even West Ham – who would receive special status as one of the league’s longest-serving teams – said not to be in favour.
Premier League clubs, who have already taken a financial hit during the coronavirus pandemic, are believed to be worried that the plans would negatively impact their accounts.
The proposal to reduce the top division from 20 to 18 clubs would have the effect of removing two home games from each clubs’ calendar, as well as increasing the risk of relegation to the Championship.
Any changes to the structure of the Premier League require support from 14 of the 20 current clubs. As it stands, the proposals are unlikely to be backed by that number, meaning the FA will not be forced to decide whether to use its veto.
The Premier League shareholders are meeting this week – likely on Wednesday – while there is an FA council and board meeting on Thursday, with Project Big Picture likely to be high on the agenda at both gatherings.