Bitter rivals Liverpool and Man Utd have been described as ‘driving forces’ behind a radical new proposal that would make sweeping wholesale changes to the English game.
The proposal, dubbed ‘Project Big Picture’, details plans that would address various aspects of domestic football’s structure.
Ranging from financial aid related to the Covid-19 pandemic, to increased power for the traditional ‘top six’ along with Everton, Southampton and West Ham, the proposal would be an overhaul on a scale not seen since the Premier League’s formation in 1992.
Reds owners Fenway Sports Group reportedly ‘wrote’ the document outlining the changes, a move that was ‘supported by their counterparts at Old Trafford.’
The remaining four sides that comprise the traditional ‘top six’ are expected to endorse the plans.
The 16-strong list of proposals are outlined in full below.
- £250million sent to EFL
- Special status for the nine longest serving clubs – and the vote of only six of those ‘long-term shareholders’ required to make major changes, Premier League to go to 18 clubs from 20
- £100m one-off gift to the FA to maintain its sustainability, including at grassroots level
- 48.5 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 both overseas and domestic
- League Cup and the Community Shield abolished
- 24 clubs each in the Championship, League One and League Two to reduce 92 professional game 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, and a focus on a return to safe standing
- Later Premier League start in August to give greater scope for pre-season friendlies
- 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
Premier League respond with official statement
A Premier League statement in response to the breaking news was swiftly published.
It read: ‘We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this country.
‘English football is the world’s most watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe.
‘To maintain this position it is important 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.
‘In the Premier League’s view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support.
‘The Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for COVID-19 rescue funding. This work will continue.’