A lot of crazy things have happened this year both in and out of the football world, and yet with just a few months left in 2020, something tells us we’re far from done just yet.
English football has been working under the current structure in the Premier League era since back in 1992, and yet it’s only been in the last few years that we’ve really started to see the full impact of having a divide between the rich and the poor in that sport. You could argue it’s been evident ever since day one and there’s a real case to be made for that, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of many signs that something needs to change.
As it turns out, Liverpool and Manchester United have been working on plans to change the game for quite some time now – under the name “Project Big Picture”. Below, you’ll be able to see some of the headlines from this proposed shift courtesy of Sky Sports.
- The Premier League would be reduced from 20 to 18 clubs.
- The League Cup and the Community Shield would be scrapped.
- Current one-club one-vote principle would be abolished, as would rule that 14 clubs out of the current 20 need to agree on policy.
- Power would be in the nine clubs that have remained in the Premier League longest (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham).
- Only six of the nine longest-serving clubs need to vote for major change.
- A £250m payment up front to the EFL, plus £100m payment to the Football Association.
- 25 per cent of Premier League annual revenue (up from four per cent) would go to the EFL clubs.
Everyone knows that there needs to be more money set aside for the smaller clubs down the Football League pyramid, especially when you consider the impact that the pandemic has had on their finances. Alas, it doesn’t feel as if this is the idea that’s going to change the status quo.
The EFL clubs might want the money but there are too many strings attached for it to become a viable idea. If you’re a current Premier League club and you know that only nine of you are going to have the power to make any difference, then what’s the point of even making the push for the top six (or four) in the first place? Interestingly enough we’re starting to hear that these talks first began back in 2017, not long after Leicester City were able to shock the system and win the Premier League.
We aren’t saying the two are related, but you can bet the likes of United and Liverpool will do anything to prevent another Leicester rising up through the ranks.
As the Premier League prepares to return and the international break goes on you can continue to check out the betting page and put some money down on games, but in reality, there’s something much bigger happening right now – and we can’t let these big teams think that they can just force this proposal through without a fight.