European Super League

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American_Gooner

Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so.
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Manchester United and Liverpool are the driving force behind the biggest changes to English football in a generation and an extraordinary overhaul of the Premier League, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The two clubs have worked together on a radical set of proposals – called “Project Big Picture” - that will reshape the finances of the game. The Premier League, the most lucrative sports league in the world, would see a reduction to 18 teams, and controlling power in the hands of the biggest clubs.

In return for tearing up many of the rules that have governed the game since the Premier League’s inception in 1992 there will be £250 million rescue package to the Football League to see them through the Covid crisis.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the details of the working document “Revitalisation” authored by Liverpool’s American ownership Fenway Sports Group with support from United. It anticipates the backing of the other members of the so-called big six, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

In a remarkable set of proposals, which will send shockwaves through the game, 25 per cent of the Premier League’s annual revenue will go to the EFL clubs with £250 million paid up front to see them through the current crisis. There would also be a gift of £100 million to sustain the Football Association.


However, there would be an abolition of the one-club, one-vote principle that has sustained the Premier League since its inception as well as the abolition of the threshold of 14 votes to pass any decision or regulation change.

Under the new proposals, the League Cup and the Community Shield would be abolished. There have been additional discussions that the League Cup would survive but without the participation of the clubs in Europe.

There would be two automatic promotion places for Championship clubs, but the third, fourth and fifth placed clubs would be in a play-off tournament with the 16th placed Premier League club.

The nine clubs who have been in the Premier League for the longest - which includes the big six - would dictate its running in every aspect and would be free to play more games in the expanded Champions League that is anticipated from the 2024-2025 season onwards.

As well as the Premier League dropping from 20 clubs to 18, there would be 24 in each of the Championship, League One and League Two making a total of 90.


The plan is supported by the EFL chairman Rick Parry who has held talks with Liverpool’s principal owner, the American investor John W Henry, and shareholder and director Mike Gordon. In addition, Parry has spoken to the Glazer family, who own United.

The talks began in 2017 but have been accelerated since the coronavirus pandemic has thrust football into the grip of crisis with no fans in stadiums until March at the earliest. Liverpool and United are prepared for a fierce debate over their proposals but they want them implemented as soon as possible.

The Revitalisation document calls for immediate action to cut dramatically what it calls the “revenue chasm” in earnings from television contracts between the Premier League and the EFL. In order to discourage Championship clubs from gambling recklessly on promotion, the parachute payments system would be abolished in favour of the 25 per cent share of Premier League revenue being shared more equitably among EFL clubs.

Under proposals for the new model of distribution of television revenue in the Premier League, Fenway, the driving force behind the document, insist there would be no greater share for the top six. Their stated aim is to eliminate the huge gap in earnings between Premier League and EFL clubs while in return having a greater control of the decisions made by the Premier League.

The document says: “A reset of the economics and governance of the English football pyramid is long overdue”.


The proposals also rewrite the Premier League’s 20-club democracy in favour of placing huge power in the hands of the nine clubs with the longest continual stay in the division. As things stand that is the big six, as well as Everton, Southampton and West Ham. Those nine clubs afforded “long-term shareholder status” would have unprecedented power, with the votes of just six of them required to make sweeping changes. These clubs would even be able to veto a new owner taking over a rival club.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Parry said that he had the support of many of his 72 members, many currently facing financial ruin, to go ahead with the plan. He said: “What do we do? Leave it exactly as it is and allow the smaller clubs to wither? Or do we do something about it? And you can’t do something about it without something changing. And the view of our clubs is if the [big] six get some benefits but the 72 also do, we are up for it.”

He accepted there would be opposition from the Premier League clubs outside the big six who would see it as detrimental to their financial prospects with less money and two fewer places in the top flight.

“It is definitely going to be challenging and it is an enormous change so that won’t be without some pain,” Parry said: “Do I genuinely think it’s for the greater good of the game as a whole? Absolutely. And if the [big] six are deriving some benefit then why shouldn’t they. Why wouldn’t they put their names to this otherwise?”
The proposals include:

  • £250 million immediately to the EFL to compensate its clubs for lost matchday revenue, deducted from future television revenue earnings and financed by a loan taken out by the Premier League
  • Special status for the nine longest serving clubs – and the vote of only six of those “long-term shareholders” required to make major changes, including amending rules and regulations, agreeing contracts, removal of the chief executive, and a wide-ranging veto including on club ownership
  • Premier League to go to 18 clubs from 20
  • £100 million one-off gift to the FA to cover its coronavirus losses, the non-league game, the women’s game, the grassroots
  • 8.5 per cent of annual net Premier League revenue to go on operating costs and “good causes” including the FA
  • From the remainder, 25 per cent of all combined Premier League and Football League revenues to go to the EFL clubs
  • Six per cent of Premier League gross revenues to pay for stadium improvements across the top four divisions, calculated at £100 per seat
  • New rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic, including proposals that base one portion on performance over three years in the league
  • The abolition of the League Cup and the Community Shield
  • 24 clubs each in the Championship, League One and League Two reducing the professional game overall from 92 clubs to 90
  • A women's professional league independent of the Premier League or the FA
  • Two sides automatically relegated from the Premier League every season and the top two Championship teams promoted. The 16th place Premier League club in a play-off tournament with the Championship’s third, fourth and fifth placed teams.
  • Financial fair play regulations in line with Uefa, and full access for Premier League executive to club accounts
  • A fan charter including capping of away tickets at £20, away travel subsidised, a focus on a return to safe standing, a minimum away allocation of eight per cent capacity
  • Later Premier League start in August to give greater scope for pre-season friendlies, and requirement for all clubs to compete once every five years in a summer Premier League tournament
  • Huge changes to loan system allowing clubs to have 15 players out on loan domestically at any one time and up to four at a single club in England
 

DanDare

Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
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Interesting. I read through that list looking for stuff that will further advantage the big clubs. The Top 9 voting thing seems suspect as does the distribution based on performance.

A lot of interesting and some positive stuff in there
 

DanDare

Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
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Definitely think a redistribution of the large amounts in the PL will be a good thing.

Think it might help control fees and wages as well. Feels like the PL has got too big for itself. Once a player moves to the PL they price themselves out of most teams in other leagues
 

say yes

Not Trusted
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Reduction to a 18 team league and the abolishment of the league cup surely also point to a big expansion in European football, rather than a simple reduction of games.

**** that. There are only a handful of decent European clubs. I want to watch the Barlacys, not more games against farmers.
 

Moah

Well-Known Member
Definitely feels like a power grab. How can the competitors make the rules? Its trying to take advantage of the lower leagues' financial crisis to take absolute control.

Capitalism at its finest.
 

field442

Hates Journalists Named James
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Reduction to a 18 team league and the abolishment of the league cup surely also point to a big expansion in European football, rather than a simple reduction of games.

**** that. There are only a handful of decent European clubs. I want to watch the Barlacys, not more games against farmers.

It will be an expansion of the Champions League though, not the Europa. They’ve spoken about making it 8 groups of 6 teams instead of the current 4 team format, which means an extra 16 participants and most will come from the bigger leagues. It won’t necessarily be farmers.
 

Riou

Gatekeeper Of Mediocrity
I would like to see just the champions of each league in The Champions League each season, make it really feel like the biggest football club competition in the world. (This will never happen due to money.)

The rest of the teams who qualified for Europe in the Europa, would make the UEFA Cup feel special again...maybe reduce the number of teams that qualify for Europe from certain countries.

Rename the Community Shield the English Super Cup.

That would be my changes to football as a whole right now.
 

field442

Hates Journalists Named James
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Not sure where I stand on this but I’m a fan of the relegation format, although I’d go a step further and make it a direct play-off between the 3rd team in the Championship against the 16th (in an 18 team league) in the Premier League.
 

MikelHadADream

Well-Known Member
Some good proposals. The increased power of the 9 longest serving clubs is very suspect though.

The league cup should have been abolished years ago, the "competition" is an absolute joke that no club in the country takes seriously.
 

field442

Hates Journalists Named James
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How does this even get voted on? The EFL seem all for it but if it’s dependant on needing 14 yes votes from PL clubs then there’s no chance this ever happens.
 

SA Gunner

Hates Tierney And Wants Him Sold Immediately
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This is a power grab, a big boys club wanting to stamp their authority with some nice proposals but ultimately concentrating power into fewer hands.

Great reforms, but Im against this longest serving will control bullshit... it should fail to take hold and rightfully so IMO.
 

DanDare

Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
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Now I've thought about it

What's to stop the top 6 getting power through this generous money then changing the rules in a couple of years time so they get all the TV rights?
 
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field442

Hates Journalists Named James
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Now I've thought about it

What's to stop the top 6 getting power through this generous money then changing the tiles in a couple of years time so they get all the TV rights?

I imagine that 25% figure will be legally binding and not up for negotiation no matter what.
 

field442

Hates Journalists Named James
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I mean this is great for the EFL clubs and the big 6 but how do you convince Leicester, Wolves, Brighton etc to agree to something which means they’ll likely have to operate on a lower budget? Really curious as to how this gets voted on. Is it up to the FA to decide and that £100m gesture is a golden handshake?
 

American_Gooner

Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so.
Moderator
How does this even get voted on? The EFL seem all for it but if it’s dependant on needing 14 yes votes from PL clubs then there’s no chance this ever happens.
The threat of a breakaway European Super League might push them to vote yes. A PL without the 'big six' would be ****ed.
 

DanDare

Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief
Trusted ✔️
I imagine that 25% figure will be legally binding and not up for negotiation no matter what.

But it surely won't be fixed forever. Circumstances change. And in that instance, the mechanism for a change will be in the control of the top 9/6. And what is to stop them deciding the circumstances have changed in two seasons time? At which point no one has the power to stop them
 
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