Leeds CEO warns of ‘treacherous’ Liverpool, Man Utd plans

Date published: Wednesday 21st October 2020 10:49 - Samuel Bannister

Angus Kinnear

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear has described plans for Project Big Picture as “treacherous” to English football.

Liverpool and Manchester United were recently at the forefront of plans to re-shape English football. It would have been its biggest shakeup since the foundation of the Premier League.

If the plans had gone ahead, there would have been several changes to the structure of the English game. For example, the Premier League would have reduced from 20 teams to 18 teams.

Project Big Picture will be a non-starter, though. Premier League clubs quickly rejected the possibility.

But that has not stopped the country’s biggest clubs looking for new opportunities. More recently, there has been talk of a potential breakaway into a European Premier League.

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Such a move may benefit the biggest Premier League clubs. However, those such as recently promoted Leeds United would potentially suffer as a result.

Now, Leeds’ CEO Kinnear has condemned the ideas behind Project Big Picture. Writing in his programme notes for Leeds’ game against Wolves on Monday, Kinnear warned that such plans would have been a danger to the game as we know it.

“This week, followers of football politics will have revelled in the particularly colourful publication of Project Big Picture,” he said.

“Fortunately for the domestic game, if the press reports are to be believed, a Faustian Pact that would have made Machiavelli blush was as transparent as it was treacherous.

“Hence, one of the most unedifying episodes in the glorious history of the Premier League was suitably short lived as The FA, Football Supporters Association and (in a rare moment of clarity) the Government joined all 20 clubs in the Premier League in unanimously denouncing the plan.”


Kinnear calls on Government to open stadiums

Elsewhere in his message, Kinnear also urged the Government to consider allowing fans back into games.

Professional football in England has had to occur behind closed doors since it resumed in June. However, that has left some clubs worrying about their income.

Kinnear believes it would be easy for many grounds to operate with a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.

“However, the Government must also play its part and not persist in their discriminating in their treatment of football in favour of other comparable industries,” he added.

“The safe and phased return of crowds is key to all levels of our game, but particularly to the lower leagues (many of whom normally operate below capacity naturally facilitating a proportion of the required social distancing).

“The Government needs to quickly rationalise how the indoor London Palladium can be 50 per cent full for an Evening with Arsene Wenger, but the same number of people can’t be outdoors in the stadium he inspired which is 26 times bigger.”


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