Premier League clubs unanimously reject 'Project Big Picture': statement

  • Premier League clubs unanimously reject 'Project Big Picture': statement

Premier League clubs unanimously reject 'Project Big Picture': statement

The "Project Big Picture" plan, backed by Liverpool and Manchester United, has been criticised by the government, Football Association, Premier League and fan groups.

According to the report, the plans are said to contain "no active links to current football clubs", Bernstein believing "the sport can not be trusted to reform itself" and requires 'an independent body to mediate on the different needs of the FA, Premier League, Football League, National League and Women's Game'.

The League Cup and season curtain-raiser, the Community Shield, would also be scrapped, providing more space in the calendar for lucrative pre-season tours and potentially more matches in European club competition for the biggest clubs.

It also proposed a greater share of broadcast revenues for the EFL.

The EFL subsequently confirmed it will convene on Thursday to discuss the Premier League's offer of a "much-needed support package", while also expressing its encouragement at the promise of an urgent review to protect the football pyramid.

A league statement read: "All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League or the FA".

Liverpool and Manchester United have said nothing publicly about their role in the radical strategy, leaving EFL chairman Rick Parry to be their public spokesman.

The statement continued: "The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible".

All 20 league clubs rejected the proposals "unanimously" instead agreeing to work together on a "strategic plan" to find a new way forward.

The process will include the FA, the United Kingdom government and the EFL, added the statement.

"An offer has been made by the Premier League to EFL League One and Two which is a good start".

The Premier League said its rescue package will consist of interest-free loans and grants.

Of the rescue package created to prevent lower-league clubs from going bust due to the impact of Covid-19, the statement added: 'League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs, and are therefore more at risk.

There would also be changes to voting rights and a substantial financial settlement for the struggling EFL due to the pandemic.

In addition, the English Football League would have got 25% of all future TV deals, which would have been negotiated jointly, plus a £250m bail-out.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the project was the "type of backroom dealing that undermines trust in football governance", while the Premier League warned some of the plans would have a "damaging impact on the whole game".

On Tuesday, Nigel Travis - chairman of League Two side Leyton Orient - said EFL clubs could "disappear within five to six weeks" without a bailout, and described the then-mooted £50 million figure as "not enough".

In the statement, the Premier League pledged to provide financial aid to the lower reaches of the football pyramid, but a significantly smaller amount than "Project Big Picture" promised.

It remains hugely unlikely to win favour in its current format given that any potential changes require a majority vote of 14, with it being claimed that only six clubs are in favour of the current proposals.