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.
Africa Top Sports learnt via a statement released on premier league websites that Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football.
The Big Project is a proposal sponsored by Liverpool and Manchester United to both radically overhaul the power structure of the Premier League and help financially safeguard teams in the divisions below.
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Clubs also unanimously agreed that open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability will be adopted.
The Premier League also urged all clubs to remain committed to the sage return of fans as soon as possible.
Stressing that football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without supporters.
“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 package 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.
What Project Big Picture Means
Project Big Picture aims to both radically overhaul the power structure of the Premier League and help financially safeguard teams in the divisions below.
Led by Manchester United and Liverpool and backed by English Football League (EFL) chairman Rick Parry, the plans propose the following changes:
- The Premier League to be reduced from 20 to 18 clubs.
- The EFL Cup and the Community Shield to be scrapped.
- 16th placed Premier League club to join a play-off with Championship teams in third, fourth, and fifth.
- Nine Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Man City, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham) to be given special power over rule changes, broadcasting rights, and even club takeovers.
- Creation of a $450 million rescue fund for EFL clubs.
- 25% of Premier League annual revenue (instead of just 4%) to go to EFL clubs, and scrapping of parachute payments (money given to clubs when they are relegated).
- Price caps on tickets to away games.
- A redesigned loan system, an extended pre-season, and a later league start date.
- Funding will be provided to set up a new and independent women’s league.