Downing St condemns Project Bi...

Sport

Downing St condemns Project Big Picture as "back room dealing"

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

3:27 PM - 12 Oct 2020



10 Downing Street claims that Project Big Picture undermines trust in football's governance. 

On Sunday, The Telegraph revealed details of Project Big Picture which it claims is being driven by Liverpool and Manchester United.

Among the key aims of the project is reducing the number of Premier League teams from 20 to 18.

The League Cup and Community Shield would both be abolished, and the system of one club-one vote would be no more.

Instead, power would be placed in the hands of the nine clubs who have been in the Premier League the longest (Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Manchester City and West Ham United).

EFL clubs are believed to be in favour of the idea, as the EFL as an entity would receive 25 per cent of the Premier League's annual revenue and a £250m payment up front.

Some have deemed it a "power grab", however with the Premier League saying "A number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support.

Parry is the Premier League's original chief executive, and a former CEO of Liverpool.

He was appointed chairman of the EFL in September 2019 and said of Project Big Picture, "It's been a long time in the making. There has been dialogue with our major clubs - not just Manchester United and Liverpool. It's been many months in the making. It's been thought through and thoroughly analysed.

"At its heart, it is very simple: it's about taking a major chunk of the media revenues, funnelling them downwards through the game and recognising the relevance of the importance of keeping the pyramid strong, not just in the short term but in the long term.

"It doesn't matter where the idea has come from. What matters is that the idea has enormous merit. And l think the fact that of our major clubs are showing great interest in the pyramid, and are demonstrating leadership, is something to be applauded.

"We genuinely think that this is in the big interests of the game as a whole - certainly in the best interests of the pyramid."

Despite being among the nine clubs to gain more power from the proposal, it's understood West Ham are against the idea.

And on Monday afternoon 10 Downing Street spoke out publicly against the proposals, saying, "It's clear that proposal does not command support through PL and it is exactly this type of back room dealing that undermines trust in footballs governance.

"In terms of support for clubs we have been giving 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 package of support for whole football family."



Read more about

Boris Johnson Downing Street Efl Cup Liverpool Manchester United Premier League Project Big Picture

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