Proposals led by Liverpool and Man United to shake-up the football pyramid in England with ‘Project Big Picture’ have been rejected by the majority of Premier League clubs.
As soon as the plans emerged on Sunday, there was a wide scope of opinions and voices in support of and against the proposals which sought to make controversial changes to the English footballing scene.
It included reducing the top flight to 18 clubs, changing the voting rules in a way which would increasingly serve those at the top, provide the English Football League with an increased cut of revenue and abolish the Community Shield and League Cup.
These are just a few of the changes the plan listed which also gave the power to veto club ownership proposals, remove the chief executive and amend rules and regulations.
With such widespread changes on the table, it came as no surprise that a myriad of voices looked to express their support or opposition before the Premier League met on Wednesday.
A group of supporters’ groups led by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust which included Spirit of Shankly voiced their opposition to the current proposal which concentrated power to those in the top six, but did acknowledge “some suggestions in this plan that have merit.”
On the other side of the coin, a multitude of EFL clubs expressed their support with the plans including an economic benefit at a time where funds are limited.
But in an emergency meeting between all 20 Premier League clubs on Wednesday, ‘Project Big Picture’ was turned down by “a majority of clubs,” but clubs will now work together on a new “strategic plan.”
A subsequent statement released by the Premier League said:
“All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that “Project Big Picture” will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA.
Further, Premier League Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.”
The Premier League also noted that clubs will continue to work “collaboratively, in an open and transparent process” which focuses on “competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.”
While the proposal was rejected in its current form, as per the Athletic, individual plans within the larger project could be revisited by Premier League clubs as a restructuring of English football remains on the mind of many.