PL Reforms: What is ‘Project Big Picture’ and what does it mean for EPL and EFL?
“Project Big Picture” could see the greatest purge throughout the entire existence of the English Premier League.
Yet, what’s going on here? Also, what might it be able to mean for English football?
What is ‘Project Big Picture’?
Project Big Picture intends to both fundamentally update the force structure of the Premier League and help monetarily defend teams in the divisions beneath.
Driven by Manchester United and Liverpool and upheld by English Football League (EFL) administrator Rick Repel, the Project Big Picture plan propose the accompanying changes:
- The Premier League size of playing sides to be reduced from 20 to 18 clubs.
- The EFL Cup and the Community Shield to be scrapped, as proposed.
- A 16th placed club in Premier League to participate in a play-off against championship teams in third, fourth and fifth.
- Big Nine Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Man City, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham) to be given special status and power over rule changes, broadcasting rights, and even club takeovers.
- The plan proposes it would create a $450 million rescue fund for EFL clubs.
- The plan also proposes 25% of Premier League annual revenue (instead of just 4% as of now) to go to EFL clubs and scrapping of parachute payments (money given to clubs when they are relegated).
- Price caps on tickets to away games.
- A redesigned loan system, an extended pre-season, and a later league start date.
- Funding will be provided to set up a new and independent women’s league as well.
What does Project Big Picture mean for the EPL and EFL?
For the Premier League, it would see the force on significant choices, for example, rule changes and broadcasting rights move unequivocally in the courtesy of the large six – Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Man United, and Man City.
Right now, each of the 20 clubs gets the chance to decide on such issues, with a greater part of 14 expecting to cast a ballot in favour to pass any movement. Under Project Big Picture, just nine clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Man City, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham) would get to vote, with a majority of six needed to push through any proposed changes.
Generally, this implies the Premier League’s littler clubs have nothing to do with what occurs, with the huge six holding all the force. While Everton, Southampton, and West Ham stay in the vote – they are dwarfed by those above them.
Sportsmail reports that the gathering will likewise have the option to restrict proposed takeovers at the rest of the clubs.
For the English Football League, the plans would facilitate the budgetary strain on clubs in the lower associations, making reasonable prospects for all and dodge occasions of bankruptcy.
Obviously, Parry, a main impetus behind the Project Big Picture plans, is all for the reshaping.
“It’s a broken system, it was broken before COVID,” Parry told TalkSPORT. “From our perspective, what big picture does is address every single one of those qualities.”
“The Premier League could have come up with a plan at any time. The fact two of our leading clubs have come up with a plan, I really don’t think it’s to be criticized and should be applauded.”
“A lot of the reaction has been hysterical. People have seen it as a power grab but I don’t see it that way.”
“I look at the benefits for us and if it’s taken two of our leading clubs to come up with the plan, let’s congratulate them and hopefully make something radical happen because we need radical solutions.”
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Premier League do not approve the plans
The Premier League, however, do not approve of the plans being made behind its back.
“English football is the world’s most-watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe,” the league said in a statement, as per TalkSPORT.
“To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together. Both the Premier League and the FA support a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game, including its competition structures, calendar and overall financing particularly in light of the effects of COVID-19.”
“Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute.”
The UK Government did not back the proposal too
However, the UK government has also condemned the Project Big Picture proposal held by Liverpool and Manchester United together along with other top-six teams, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport calling it a “backroom deal.”
“We are surprised and disappointed that at a time of crisis when we have urged the top tiers of professional football to come together and finalize a deal to help lower league clubs, there appear to be backroom deals being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game,” a spokesperson said, according to the BBC.
“Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that may undermine them is deeply troubling. Fans must be in front of all our minds, and this shows why our fan led a review of football governance will be so critical.”