Jurgen Klopp says he is ‘happy’ to see talks about a potential form of English football following discussions over the ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals.
Liverpool‘s owners were behind the ‘Project Big Picture’ plans which included a number of radical changes to the structure of English football, including reducing the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18, as well as abolishing the League Cup and Community Shield in a bid to solve fixture congestion.
The reform plans had been ‘unanimously’ backed by the EFL, principally as it would have seen a renewed funding structure to football league clubs, as well as providing a much needed £250 million bailout to aid those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The plans however have since been rejected by all 20 Premier League clubs, largely due to a perceived power grab by the Premier League’s big six, the proposals having suggested removing the one-club one-vote system, with future changes requiring just six votes from the nine longest-serving sides.
Premier League clubs have since offered to create an emergency financial package to help League One and League Two clubs, whilst agreeing to work as a ‘collective’ on any future plans involving the structure of English football.
Despite Liverpool’s part in the controversial project, Reds boss Klopp says he is pleased to see it sparking conversations about much-needed reforms of the sport during this time of ‘crisis’.
The Neville-Burnham-Bernstein plan looks so much more sensible— & so much deeper & more long-term in focus — than the blatant power grab proposed by #LFC and #MUFC. @GNev2: “I don’t want the Glazers, John W Henry, Roman Abramovich or Daniel Levy running football in this country” pic.twitter.com/rlYaxViZNJ
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKay) October 16, 2020
“A lot of times in life there has to be a crisis to start talking – not necessarily a virus but a crisis – and this time I am really happy that people now talk about it,” the said at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Merseyside derby.
“It’s not like I was involved, but I can say all the people I know who were involved are concerned about football.
“There are things we can improve and I really think if you always have to improve them now before you see the real problems in the future – that is what these people tried to do.
“I think when the process keeps on going and people are talking about it then it is very positive.”
Alternative, independent, plans are now being proposed with former FA chairman, David Bernstein, behind a similar – yet alternative – proposal which could provide the necessary financial security for the EFL without handing increased power to the wealthiest clubs.
Bernstein’s plans are said to contain ‘no active links to current football clubs’ and have been backed by several notable figures, including EFL chairman Rick Parry and Salford City co-owner Gary Neville.