BREAKING NEWS: ‘Project Big Picture is NOT dead,’ EFL chairman Rick Parry says, as he calls on Premier League clubs ‘to recognise there needs to be change’ after they rejected Liverpool and Manchester United’s revamp plan
- Rick Parry is adamant big clubs care about long-term future of English game
- EFL chairman insists that Project Big Picture is not dead and can be revived
- It was roundly rejected by other Premier League clubs at crunch meeting
- The plans would have seen more funding for EFL clubs and competitions axed
- But the clamour for the ‘Big Six’ to have more power angered top-flight clubs
EFL chairman Rick Parry insists Project Big Picture is not dead in the water and could yet be revived.
The controversial proposals put forward predominantly by Liverpool and Manchester United, endorsed by Parry, were shot down in a meeting with all the Premier League clubs.
‘No no. Absolutely not. I do not believe it is’, Parry told Jamie Carragher for the Telegraph when asked if Project Big Picture was dead.
Rick Parry, EFL chairman, has insisted that Project Big Picture is not dead in the water
Project Big Picture was to offer more funding for the EFL but big clubs wanted special rights
He insisted: ‘There is too much good in it. The debate has to be kept alive. The EFL will not lie down and shut up.
‘The Premier League has promised a strategic review. They recognise there needs to be change. I hope it happens speedily.
‘It is not complicated. It could be done really quickly. We have EFL clubs finding it challenging to pay wages in November. Others will be struggling around Christmas. Without supporters, by February and March there will be more in that situation.’
Greg Clarke, FA chairman, was involved in the early talks but then distanced himself
Liverpool owner John W Henry and United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward were two of the main advocates of the plans but Project Big Picture was seen by many as a power grab from the ‘Big Six’ in English football despite the pledge for increased funding for the EFL and scrapping of the Carabao Cup.
It proposed that the Premier League would be cut from 20 to 18 teams with ‘nine long term shareholders given special power and voting rights.
Parry denies that those pushing the big picture agenda are not doing so covertly in an underhand manner.
Parry thinks there is enough good in the proposals for them to be tweaked and approved
He also expressed his disappointment that the FA did not endorse aspects of the proposals that they liked. Greg Clarke, FA chairman, distanced himself from the talks having initially been involved.
Parry lamented the fact that the radical proposals were ‘leaked to kill’ Project Big Picture in his opinion but he is optimistic and believes it ‘is too good to die’.
The EFL chairman thinks the fact that Championship clubs back a reduced Premier League for a more sustainable funding model indicates the will to make some of the serious changes he advocates.
PROJECT BIG PICTURE PROPOSALS
- The Premier League will be cut from 20 to 18 teams, with the Championship, League One and League Two all keeping their usual 24 clubs.
- Nine ‘long term shareholders’ will be given the power and have special voting rights on all sorts of issues in the Premier League, including rule changes, who becomes chief executive, and even if a new owner can take over at another club.
- A £350million rescue fund will be made immediately available to the EFL and Football Association for lost revenues for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
- The League Cup and the Community Shield will be completely abolished.
- Parachute payments will be scrapped and instead, 25 per cent of Premier League revenue will be distributed to the EFL.
- Promotion play-offs brought in, involving 16th-placed team in the Premier League, and 3rd, 4th and 5th in the Championship.
- Funding will be provided to set up a new and independent women’s league.
- Season to start later and pre-season friendlies extended.