On Sunday, the Premier League reacted sharply to reports of Liverpool and Manchester United-driven revolutionary plan to reshape the Premier League labelled ‘Project Big Picture’.
The idea includes reducing the Premier League to 18 teams with more power in the hands of the big six – United, City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The Premier League slammed the EFP chairman Rick Parry for supporting the plan on the record.
Reacting to the same, the Premier League said: “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 that 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.”
They added: “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.”
What is Project Big Picture?
American-owned Liverpool and Manchester United want more control over Premier League decision-making and are behind proposals that will also reduce the size of the topflight to 18 teams.
The plans were publicly announced and backed Sunday by the chairman of the English Football League, Rick Parry, who runs the competition featuring the 72 professional teams below the Premier League.
"It is definitely going to be challenging and it is an enormous change so that won't be without some pain," Parry told the website of the London-based Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Parry told the Telegraph he has been talking to the Glazer family, which owns United, and John Henry, who owns Premier League champion Liverpool, about the proposal to overhaul the English league system.
The Premier League would drop from 20 to 18 teams, the Telegraph reported.
Changes to the competition would only require approval from six of the nine-longest serving clubs rather than the currently required 14 of 20 teams.
The say of six clubs could remove the chief executive of the Premier League - a position Parry held at the competition's inception before going on to become CEO of Liverpool.
"Do I genuinely think it's for the greater good of the game as a whole? Absolutely," Parry said.
"And if the six are deriving some benefit then why shouldn't they? Why wouldn't they put their names to this otherwise?"
The plan envisages giving 250 million pounds ($325 million) and larger annual contributions to EFL clubs, who are struggling due to no fans being allowed into stadiums during the pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies)