Fans of Premier League Big Six join forces to condemn Project Big Picture plans

Fans of the Premier League's 'Big Six' have joined forces to condemn the controversial Project Big Picture plans.

The radical shake-up plans, understood to be led by Liverpool and Manchester United and backed by EFL chairman Rick Parry, have sparked an outcry throughout football.

In what would be the biggest overhaul of the top flight since it was rebranded in 1992, the Premier League would be cut to 18 teams, with special voting rights given to the nine-longest serving teams.

That includes Liverpool and United plus the rest of the Big Six – Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.

And with only six votes from those clubs required under the proposals in order to pass major changes, the blueprint is being seen as a power grab by the country's richest clubs.

And the supporters associations of the Big Six giants have banded together to release a joint statement slamming the plans.

"While the six clubs we support are widely reported to be the instigators of Project Big Picture, it is important we state very clearly that we do not support the proposals in their current form," the statement read.

"The Premier League has rightly said that all stakeholders should be involved in discussions about the future of the game.

"And yet supporters have not had the courtesy of any communication or consultation about these plans before they were published last Sunday, despite allegedly being three years in the making."

The statement said the game needs reform – but outlined fans' opposition to the proposed new voting system.

"By floating this latest plan, those behind it are acknowledging football needs to be reformed," the statement added. "It’s something we have been saying for many years.

"There are some suggestions in this plan that have merit.

"But we are totally opposed to concentrating power in the hands of six billionaire owners and departing from the one club, one vote and collective ethos of the Premier League.

"This part of the proposal must be dropped immediately if other elements are to be given serious consideration."

In response to the Project Big Picture plans, the Government reiterated that supporters must be at the forefront of any major changes within the sport.

The statement from fans of the Big Six said it was vital that supporters were included in talks about reform – including in terms of how the ownership of clubs is governed.

"We welcome the Government reiterating its plan for a supporter-led review into football governance," the statement added.

"This needs to happen as a matter of urgency and supporter groups must be consulted on the terms of reference.

"These terms must include how fans are to be given a greater say in the running of their clubs and a chance to be involved in ownership structures.

"We call on the Government and football authorities to now work urgently to secure a sustainable future for all clubs, many of which face serious threats to their existence as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We also expect both parties to make a genuine commitment to reform and to listen to our members. Fans are the lifeblood of the game. We need to be heard as soon as possible."

The statement was released jointly by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool Supporters Union), Manchester City FC Supporters Club (The OSC), Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.

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