Some big breaking news this afternoon, with the Premier League releasing a statement to say that top flight clubs have voted unanimously to REJECT the controversial “Project Big Picture” plan leaked over the weekend.
Proposals to cut the league down from 20 to 18, while giving the lion’s share of revenue to the “big six” and allowing those clubs to veto potential takeovers, have been slammed by supporters and the press – with critics believing the plans to be everything that is wrong with modern football.
In the statement, the PL also confirmed that there will be a rescue package to League One and League Two sides to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Listen to the statement in full here or read it for yourselves below:
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.
Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.
This project has the full support of The FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, Government and, of course, the EFL.
Also at today’s meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season.
League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.
This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50million on top of the £27.2million solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2million.
Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs’ financial needs. This addresses Government concerns about lower-league clubs’ financial fragility.
Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.
This news is a huge win for Newcastle fans, who would have been robbed of the opportunity to ever compete again had these plans been approved.
Man Utd and Liverpool were the two clubs who conjured up the idea – and have rightfully had their arrogance thrown back in their faces today from the clubs outside the so-called “big six”.
We’ll have to hope pay-per-view games are next to be abolished – as I’m not paying £14.95 to watch us play Man Utd this weekend!