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Liverpool & Man Utd team up for Project Big Picture in major power grab for Premier League elite

Liverpool and Manchester United have reportedly been working together on something called ‘Project Big Picture’ – a major overhaul of the Premier League that should worry fans of football everywhere.

In what is essentially a huge power grab for the big six, these new changes, detailed in a report from the Telegraph, would represent the biggest shake-up of the English game since the Premier League first broke away from the Football League in 1992.

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While there are some positives from the plans, including a huge payment of £250million to lower league clubs to make up for the lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, most of the plans would be hugely concerning if they were to come about.

The worst of which, as reported by the Telegraph, would be one that takes away voting rights from most clubs when it comes to future decision-making processes.

At the moment, there is a one-club-one-vote system, with a majority of 14 out of the 20 clubs needing to vote through new rules and other changes.

Under the proposals in Project Big Picture, however, there would be huge weighting towards the big six and other clubs who have spent the most time in the top division, which would mean Everton, Southampton and West Ham.

This means a huge shift of power from all other teams to just those nine, which would include a big say in takeover bids at other clubs.

Other changes in the Telegraph’s report include abolishing the Community Shield and the Carabao Cup, and reducing the number of Premier League teams from 20 to 18.

There would also be a change in the playoff system, which would not only include teams battling for promotion from the Championship, but ones struggling against relegation from the Premier League as well.

Here’s a summary below, as reported by the Telegraph:

  • £250 million immediately to the EFL to compensate its clubs for lost matchday revenue, deducted from future television revenue earnings and financed by a loan taken out by the Premier League
  • Special status for the nine longest serving clubs – and the vote of only six of those “long-term shareholders” required to make major changes, including amending rules and regulations, agreeing contracts, removal of the chief executive, and a wide-ranging veto including on club ownership
  • Premier League to go to 18 clubs from 20
  • £100 million one-off gift to the FA to cover its coronavirus losses, the non-league game, the women’s game, the grassroots
  • 8.5 per cent of annual net Premier League revenue to go on operating costs and “good causes” including the FA
  • From the remainder, 25 per cent of all combined Premier League and Football League revenues to go to the EFL clubs
  • Six per cent of Premier League gross revenues to pay for stadium improvements across the top four divisions, calculated at £100 per seat
  • New rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic, including proposals that base one portion on performance over three years in the league
  • The abolition of the League Cup and the Community Shield
  • 24 clubs each in the Championship, League One and League Two reducing the professional game overall from 92 clubs to 90
  • A women’s professional league independent of the Premier League or the FA
  • Two sides automatically relegated from the Premier League every season and the top two Championship teams promoted. The 16th place Premier League club in a play-off tournament with the Championship’s third, fourth and fifth placed teams.
  • Financial fair play regulations in line with Uefa, and full access for Premier League executive to club accounts
  • A fan charter including capping of away tickets at £20, away travel subsidised, a focus on a return to safe standing, a minimum away allocation of eight per cent capacity
  • Later Premier League start in August to give greater scope for pre-season friendlies, and requirement for all clubs to compete once every five years in a summer Premier League tournament
  • Huge changes to loan system allowing clubs to have 15 players out on loan domestically at any one time and up to four at a single club in England