10 key proposals in ‘Project Big Picture’ - a radical shake-up of English football
The EFL has unveiled plans, known as ‘Project Big Picture’, for a radical shake-up of the English game.
England’s six biggest clubs, led by Liverpool and Manchester United, are also behind the proposals, which include moving to an 18-team top flight, giving greater power to the Premier League’s established elite and providing immediate financial help for EFL clubs to help them survive the coronavirus crisis.
Here, we take a look at 10 key proposals included in ‘Project Big Picture’, which has been criticised by the Premier League the Government and the Football Supporters’ Association.
Short-term financial help
1. A £350m rescue fund would be made immediately available to the EFL and Football Association for lost revenues for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
2. Of that, £250m would go to the EFL, with £50m to cover 2019-20 matchday losses and up to £200m available to cover 2020-21 EFL matchday losses.
3. The remaining £100m would go to the FA to make up for lost revenue. This would be split between £55m to cover operational losses, £25m for clubs below the EFL, £10m for the Women’s Super League and Championship and £10m for grassroots operations.
Restructuring the pyramid
4. The Premier League would be cut from 20 to 18 clubs, with the Championship, League One and League Two each retaining 24 teams.
5. The bottom two teams in the Premier League would be relegated automatically with the 16th-placed team joining the Championship play-offs instead of the team finishing sixth in the second tier. Championship relegation as well as promotion and relegation from Leagues One and Two would stay the same.
6. The League Cup and Community Shield would be abolished.
7. Parachute payments would be scrapped and instead 25 per cent of Premier League revenue would be distributed to the EFL.
8. Funding to set up a new and independent women’s league would be provided.
9. Premier League clubs would have exclusive rights to sell eight live matches a season directly to fans via their digital platforms in all international territories (this excludes the UK), while all Premier League and Championship clubs would be allowed to show limited in-match highlights on their own digital platforms.
10. Each of the nine clubs who, at any one time, have been members of the Premier League continuously for more seasons than other clubs would be considered a ‘long-term shareholder’ and have ‘special voting rights’ on certain issues, thereby giving greater power to the established clubs.