New independent women’s football league promised in ‘Project Big Picture’
Funding for a new independent women’s football league has been revealed in a proposal to shake up the sport in England titled ‘Project Big Picture’.
England’s six biggest clubs, led by Liverpool and Manchester United, are behind the proposal, which includes 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.
The Women’s Super League was founded in 2010 and has now been going for ten seasons.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have all won the WSL since its inception and the league has been expanded to 12 teams since the original eight-team format in 2011.
The details of the new independent week has not been revealed.
Here is a full look at the ten points in Project Big Picture.
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.