Liverpool and Man United plan power grab with EPL overhaul

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October 12, 2020

Liverpool and Manchester United have formulated plans to reshape English football with a power grab that would also reduce the size of the top competition to 18 from 20 teams.

Football calendar: Premier League, EFL, Champions League, Europa League, Euro 2020 and World Cup

The plans have been engineered by the American-owned clubs in conjunction with Rick Parry, which features the 72 professional teams in the three tiers below the Premier League.

Parry is championing the biggest shake-up of English football since he helped to create the Premier League in 1992 by saying it would provide greater revenue for EFL clubs as they struggle financially due to fans being shut out of stadiums during the pandemic.

The Premier League stressing “we all work together” through the “proper channels.”

“A number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game, and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry has given his on-the-record support.”

Parry is backing what is being called “Project Big Picture” with the promise of £250 million ($450 million) being advanced from the Premier League to help EFL clubs. From the 2022-23 season, 8.5 per cent of broadcast revenue would be used to operate the Premier League and help to fund the Football Association and good causes. A quarter of broadcast revenue would go to EFL clubs. The Premier League currently generates about £3 billion per season from selling the rights to broadcast its games.

The Premier League only needing approval from six of the nine-longest serving clubs — rather than the currently required 14 of 20 teams.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government saw that it chimes with moves by the European Club Association to have a maximum of 18 teams in leagues, creating space for the elite to play each other more often in continental games.

“We are surprised and disappointed that at a time of crisis when we have urged the top tiers of professional football to come together and finalise a deal to help lower league clubs there appear to be backroom deals being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game. Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that may undermine them is deeply troubling. Fans must be front of all our minds, and this shows why our fan-led review of football governance will be so critical,” the government said in a statement.

“This isn’t about giving power to a limited number of named clubs,” Parry said. “This is about recognising that those clubs who’ve been in the Premier League the longest get a greater share of the voting rights.”

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