Project Big Picture

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by American_Gooner, Oct 11, 2020.


Would you be in favour of reducing the Premier League to 18 teams?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    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?”
  2. Makavelii

    Makavelii Well-Known Member

    Fascinating. Where does the money for these up front 250 mill + 100 mill pay outs come from?

    The 9 club thing sounds a bit suspicious. But the rest all sounds positive for the game.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  3. DanDare

    DanDare Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief Trusted

    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
  4. say yes

    say yes Thread Title Abuser

    Reads to me like a bit of a powergrab tbh.

    Lower league clubs are desperate for cash. Top 6 giving it in exchange for the keys to English football.
  5. Riou

    Riou A-M's Resident Jobber

    • The abolition of the League Cup and the Community Shield
    Can understand the League Cup, but why the Community Shield?

    It's a one off game before the season starts, what harm does that cause.
    Brett, American_Gooner and say yes like this.
  6. DanDare

    DanDare Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief Trusted

    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
  7. say yes

    say yes Thread Title Abuser

    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.
  8. Moah

    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.
    Kav and Mo Britain like this.
  9. Macho

    Macho Has Trust Issues With Processes Trusted

    Pretty much came in to say this tbh
  10. field442

    field442 Hates Journalists Named James Trusted

    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.
  11. field442

    field442 Hates Journalists Named James Trusted

    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.
    Red London likes this.
  12. MikelHadADream

    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.
    Artisan likes this.
  13. field442

    field442 Hates Journalists Named James Trusted

    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.
    DanDare likes this.
  14. SA Gunner

    SA Gunner Hates Tierney And Wants Him Sold Immediately Trusted

    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.
    Oxeki, Sanchez11, Trilly and 3 others like this.
  15. DanDare

    DanDare Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief Trusted

    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?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
    Oxeki, Sanchez11 and SA Gunner like this.
  16. field442

    field442 Hates Journalists Named James Trusted

    I imagine that 25% figure will be legally binding and not up for negotiation no matter what.
  17. field442

    field442 Hates Journalists Named James Trusted

    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?
    Moah likes this.
  18. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    The threat of a breakaway European Super League might push them to vote yes. A PL without the 'big six' would be ****ed.
    Trilly likes this.
  19. DanDare

    DanDare Emoji Merchant and Believer-In-Chief Trusted

    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
  20. Mo Britain

    Mo Britain Doom Monger

    In an excellent piece of investigative football journalism The Telegraph has exposed the machinations Liverpool and Manu are scheming in order to entrench themselves, unfairly, at the top of English football until Judgement Day.

    Unfortunately the article is behind the paywall but this report from Eurosport gives you the gist:


    I imagine Saint Stan will leap at this and grasp at the opportunity to get us on board. It will mean less investment will be required to keep us in the top division and get a share of the booty, which is all he ever wanted.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020

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