Manchester United and Liverpool are driving proposals to change the face of the English game.
As first reported by The Telegraph, the two clubs have been working for three years on a radical set of proposals to reshape both the Premier League and EFL.
It would be the biggest overhaul within English football since 1992.
Entitled ‘Project Big Picture’ it is being seen in some quarters as a power grab by the Big Six – and particularly the American owners of English football’s two biggest clubs – who will become more powerful within the Premier League.
That’s because there would be the abolition of the one-club, one-vote rule which has underpinned the Premier League since its inception.
The requirement to get 14 votes to pass any decision or regulation would also be abolished.
In its place, the nine clubs who have been in the Premier League for the longest – which, at present, includes the big six, Everton, Southampton and West Ham – would have ultimate power.
As such, the ‘Big Six’ bloc – including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs – would be able to force through decisions without needing an overall majority – thus diluting the powers of the other 11 Premier League clubs, such as Newcastle, Wolves, Aston Villa, Leeds and Leicester City.
Under the proposal, with talks that began in 2017 having recently been accelerated amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League would also drop to 18 clubs.
It also reduces the number of Championship playoff places from four to three and gives the Premier League side who finished third from bottom a second chance to stay up.
TV contracts would also change, with a new model for the distribution of TV revenue. According to the document: “A reset of the economics and governance of the English football pyramid is long overdue”.
It would also lead to changes within the Football League, who would be handed a £250million rescue package to see them through the Covid-19 crisis if it goes ahead.
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Football League chief Rick Parry says many of the current 72 EFL clubs are in favour – despite the fact two clubs would be pushed into Non-League.
“What do we do? Leave it exactly as it is and allow the smaller clubs to wither?
“Or do we do something about it? And you can’t do something about it without something changing.
“And the view of our clubs is if the [big] six get some benefits but the 72 also do, we are up for it.”
The EFL Cup and Community Shield would also be scrapped.
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