The Premier League sank into civil war, on Sunday following the emergence of secret plans for a radical restructuration.
Premier League executive launches bloody attack
On an extraordinary day, the Premier League executive also launched a scathing attack on EFL President Rick Parry for supporting the Big Picture project, which would reduce the division to 18 clubs, limit relegation and give the Big Six the absolute power to make further changes.
The government condemned those involved for engaging in a “backroom deal that would create a closed shop at the top of the game”.
The Premier League entered the civil war as plans for the “Project Big Picture” were revealed.
The open hostility of the Premier League and their clubs to the proposals developed by Liverpool owner John Henry and his United counterpart Joel Glazer, with Parry’s contribution, will probably kill them at birth!
Rick Parry accused EFL president for his official support
A Premier League source accused Parry of trying to organise a hostile takeover of the world’s richest league by offering an agreement to sell the media rights to the four divisions collectively and offering the Big Six a guarantee that they could be welcomed into the league if the other 14 clubs refused to cooperate.
“In the Premier League’s view, a number of individual proposals in the plan published today could have a detrimental impact on the overall match,” they said in a statement. “We are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, EFL president, has given his official support.
EFL President Rick Parry gave his seal of approval to the plans
The government’s response was equally dismissive, though more surprising given that this is an internal dispute between two private sports organisations.
The dispute threatens to further jeopardise the chances of the lower league clubs to receive financial assistance to help them cope with the Covid-19 crisis, as the government has made it clear that it will not help and relations between the Premier League and the EFL are increasingly strained.
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports explains
A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We are surprised and disappointed that in times of crisis, when we urged the highest levels of professional football to get together and finalise an agreement to help the lower league. clubs, there seem to be behind-the-scenes deals being prepared that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game
“Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely essential and anything that can undermine them is deeply troubling.
“Fans need to be at the forefront of all our minds, and this shows why our fan-led review of football governance will be so critical. »
The radical proposals, revealed on the Daily Telegraph’s website Sunday morning, are the result of ongoing conversations between Henry and Glazer since 2017.
Parry has been involved over the past six months in exchange for a £250 million bailout for the EFL and a promise to abolish parachute payments, which he says will bring greater financial stability to the lower divisions.
Chelsea and Tottenham involved in discussions
Chelsea and Tottenham would also be on board after their presidents, Bruce Buck and Daniel Levy respectively, were involved in the discussions last week.
A wider meeting of the Big Six held on Thursday, which also involved Manchester City and Arsenal, broke up without agreement being reached.
The rest of the Premier League only learned of the controversial plans yesterday, with reactions ranging from shell shock to resentment at the perception that the Big Six were plotting behind their backs.
In addition to reducing the division to 18 clubs, a proposal to give special status to the nine with the longest uninterrupted stays in the Premier League – with the votes of only six of those clubs required to introduce major changes rather than the 14 currently needed – is the biggest source of tension.
A smaller Premier League, what else!
24hfootnews : Fooball news has been informed that Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion would not vote for a smaller Premier League under any circumstances.
while given their recent history of relegation, Aston Villa, Newcastle and West Ham are also extremely sceptical.
Many of the other 14 top clubs have said they would reject any plans to cut the league, and Liverpool and United plan to focus their lobbying efforts on the upwardly mobile Premier League clubs that have enjoyed recent success, such as Leicester City, Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, but there is no guarantee that they will adhere to the plan.
The fact that West Ham is opposed to the idea, despite offering “long-term shareholder” status with the Big Six, Everton and Southampton – is indicative of the difficulties facing the reformists.
the Project Big Picture document sent late to the clubs yesterday
In the Project Big Picture document sent out late to clubs yesterday, a start date of 2022-23 is set for the new structure, which would mean that four clubs would be relegated from the Premier League and only two promoted from the league the previous season.
But it is clear that the proposal will have to be substantially modified to gain significant support.
EFL chairman Rick Parry, a great advocate
“This is the biggest reset since the formation of the Premier League and will set up the pyramid for the next 20 years,” he said.
“No one is suggesting that it will be quite simple to get this through, but it makes as much sense for the other 14 Premier League clubs as it does for the championship, because it removes the edge of the cliff.
“It will narrow the gap and, given that a majority of these clubs will be in the championship at some point, it will benefit them.
“I find it difficult to reconcile our thoughts with the government’s position, but this will not deter us.