Often a figure of fun for the way in which he approaches aspects of the game, Ian Holloway has made his voice heard regarding ‘Project Big Picture.’
News of the proposed changes to the football pyramid have been met with widespread disgust, particularly as it would appear that one of the proposals would effectively see the big six clubs in the Premier League making the decisions and, effectively manning the ship.
A suggestion to reduce the English top flight to 18 clubs has also been mooted, but it’s the financial effect that any changes will have to the lower divisions that has so incensed Holloway, who has never been backwards in coming forwards with his opinion.
“What are Liverpool and Manchester United thinking? How selfish are you?,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
“I think they (the Government) need to step in right now and tell them what we want, not what you think is right. Who are you to suggest that?
“I think governance is absolutely vital right now, because money is going out of the game left, right and centre, billions and billions of pounds buying footballers, and it’s going out the game.
“The game needs it. Put it back in the game, get the Government to control our game and make sure the people at the bottom still have a club.
“Greed is disgusting, and that’s what I’m seeing everywhere. They want to get richer and richer and squash the competition. It’s absolutely vile and I hate it, so step in. Go and tell the top clubs that you can’t do that, please. Somebody needs to.
“The game doesn’t belong to you. The club might, but for how long? The game belongs to people in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It belongs to us. Every community deserves it, and you’re just at the top of it, so who do you think you are?
“They have to step in and stop the top from being uncontrolled. They should have limits to how much they can pay for somebody. Let’s make football strong and divide it up fairly from top to bottom. Football cannot die.”
At a time when everyone needs to be seen to be pulling together, the likes of Man United and Liverpool look to be in it just for themselves, which is never a good look but particularly not right now.
Whether further pushback from Championship and League One and Two sides sees a change of heart higher up the food chain will only be known in the coming days.