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Project Big Picture: Is the proposal as nasty as the name sounds?

A proposal to change the voting structure of the Premier League, as well as cash pumping models for the English Football League and Football Association, has been drawn up by Liverpool's owners and is backed by Manchester United.

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Last updated: 14.10.2020
Project Big Picture Is the proposal as nasty as the name sounds | Sports Social Blog

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Amid the ongoing problems of the post-COVID-19 lockdown world, a new proposal has been tabled for how the top-flight of football should look and be run going forward. It would be the biggest shake-up in English football since the launch of the Premier League, but just what is Project Big Picture and what would it change?

A proposal to change the voting structure of the Premier League, as well as cash pumping models for the English Football League and Football Association, has been drawn up by Liverpool's owners and is backed by Manchester United.


So, what would the proposal entail? Here are the key points:

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  • The Premier League would be reduced from 20 to 18 clubs.

  • The EFL Cup and the Community Shield would be scrapped.

  • Current one-club one-vote principle would be abolished, as would rule that 14 clubs out of the current 20 need to agree on policy.

  • Power would be in the nine clubs that have remained in the Premier League longest (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham).

  • Only six of the nine longest-serving clubs need to vote for major change.

  • A £250m payment up front to the EFL, plus £100m payment to the Football Association.

  • 25 percent of Premier League annual revenue (up from four per cent) would go to the EFL clubs.

  • Club who finishes 16th in Premier League to replace sixth-placed Championship club in EFL play-offs


Initial talks between Liverpool, United and the other "big six" clubs - Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea - have taken place, with hope an agreement can be reached. The reform plan, drawn up by Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group, was started in 2017 and is seen as a radical change to football governance. It has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic due to the financial situation facing many EFL clubs.

The government has come out strongly against the plans. The prime minister’s spokesman responded directly to questions on the topic saying: “It’s clear this proposal does not command support throughout the Premier League and it is exactly this type of backroom dealing that undermines trust in football’s governance.”

One the other hand, twenty-five per cent of all combined Premier League and EFL revenues would go to EFL clubs - a huge increase to the current arrangement of four per cent - and £250m up front to help clubs survive during the current financial crisis, is actually turning heads of EFL clubs, who without money being pushed in would hit rock bottom easily

Former Arsenal manager Wenger - who is FIFA's chief of global football development - has questioned the "long-term sustainability" for the clubs under this new jurisdiction. Arsene Wenger has also warned a £250m bailout will not save EFL clubs and he believes that problems run "much deeper" than the quick-fix outlined in Project Big Picture.

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