‘Project Big Picture’ is struggling to get Premier League support as all 20 owners meet for the first time to discuss the radical proposals, according to one owner.
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The Project ‘Big Picture’ plan to shake up the way the Premier League is run, how clubs vote and how much money is distributed to the other professional leagues in England was backed by Liverpool and Manchester United and EFL chairman Rick Parry and leaked to The Telegraph last weekend.
Among the proposals is to reduce the number of Premier League clubs from 20 to 18, while nine clubs (the ‘big six’ plus Everton, West Ham and Southampton) would become major shareholders and have a bigger say in decisions instead of the 14 out of 20 rule currently needed for votes to pass.
Via our partners at Sky Sports in the UK, here’s what the unnamed owner had to say as the owners meeting continues virtually:
“We are 100 per cent against the plans,” he said. “If there was a vote now I would be surprised if more than six supported it. I can guarantee you the majority of club owners are against it. Who knows, somebody might be able to come up with a compromise but there is no way we could support what’s on the table now.”
EFL clubs (Championship, League One and League Two) overwhelmingly support the plans from Parry as $325 million would be given immediately to the lower tiers of English soccer to help clubs survive amid a severe financial crisis with no fans allowed in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated up to a dozen could go out of business in early 2021 unless something drastic changes.
Most Premier League clubs would agree they need to do more to help the clubs below them in the soccer pyramid in England. But that’s not the big issue here.
The biggest sticking point is that only six of the nine clubs which have special status are needed to vote in favor of something for major changes to be made in the Premier League. So, for example, if Man United, Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea want to change the rules of the Premier League in a major way, they could do it.
This debate will rumble on and on and the Premier League have already released a statement saying they aren’t in favor of ‘Project Big Picture” but are keen to discuss how the structure of spending in the PL and EFL can be improved.
There’s no doubt they will continue to help out the teams below them but it seems like very few of the current 20 Premier League clubs are in favor of a wholesale restructuring, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.