‘Project Big Picture’ proposals are already ‘dead in the water’ following opposition from Premier League sides despite ‘unanimous’ support from EFL clubs.
The controversial proposals are fronted by the owners of Liverpool and backed by Manchester United to overhaul English football, the plans including a number of radical changes such as reducing the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18, as well as abolishing the League Cup and Community Shield.
The reform plans have been ‘unanimously’ backed by the EFL, principally because it would hand 25 per cent of annual revenues directly to the Football League, as well as providing a much needed £250 million bailout to aid clubs impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Do we want Joel Glazer to run English football? I don’t want him running #MUFC!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) October 12, 2020
However, the plans have caused huge controversy given the proposals to hand unprecedented power to the biggest sides in English football, removing the one-club one-vote system currently in place and giving ‘long-term shareholder status’ to the Premier League’s nine longest-serving clubs, with changes requiring just six votes from those in power.
According to the Telegraph – who first reported the radical proposals at the weekend – the prospect of handing such power over to the league’s largest clubs has been met with predictable resistance by the rest of the top flight, with the plans described as ‘dead in the water’ ahead of a shareholder meeting on Wednesday, with at least 13 of the member clubs reported to be ‘united’ against the proposal.
The current format needs 14 clubs to vote in favour of major changes and the lack of support for the plans has placed ‘Project Big Picture’ in jeopardy, with the alternative solution of Liverpool and Manchester United leaving the Premier League to join the EFL deemed hugely improbable.
The greater financial security for EFL clubs is a welcome benefit of the proposals and the key reason the governing body has thrown their support behind the plans, but the handing of greater power to England’s wealthiest clubs is a huge concern and one many feel could lead to an eventual ‘big six’ breakaway and the potential formation of a European Super League.