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All you need to know about Project ‘Big Picture’

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Until you’ve been living under a rock the name project ‘BIG PICTURE’ has been making the rounds of footballing news in the past few days. So what is this project ‘BIG PICTURE’?

As COVID-19 continues to damage the finances of football teams in Europe and all around the world, this controversial ‘Big Picture’ project has been in the works for almost three years now. Originally proposed by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group(FSG) and backed by Manchester United owners The Glazers, this project has been planned to be implemented by the 2021-22 season.

So we here at premierleaguenewsnow are going to explain what is this project ‘Big Picture’, what are the arguments for and against this model.

FINANCIAL POINT OF VIEW

Teams in the upper and lower parts of English football are suffering from loss of revenue from ticket sales, after the implementation of this project the Premier League would,

  1. Immediately provide a funding of £250m as a compensation for these losses. They will further give the FA £100m to support grassroot and lower tiers of English football.
  2. In addition to this £350m outlay, the project also promises to give 8.5% of Annual Net Premier League revenue to operating costs and good causes and also would further provide 25% of revenue which will directly go to EFL clubs.

The ‘Big Picture’ promises to:

  1. Capping the ticket prices at £20.
  2. Subsidizing the away journey of fans and focus on safe standings will be made compulsory with 8% of the entire stadium capacity to be included in these regulations.

PROMOTION AND RELEGATION

  1. The project aims to reduce the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18
  2. Four teams will be directly relegated in the first season and only two teams from The Championship will be awarded a berth in Premier League.
  3. Then after the first season, three teams will be relegated and promoted but now only the bottom two teams will be automatically relegated and the top two from the Championship will be promoted with the third team to be decided from the playoffs.

CHANGES TO DOMESTIC COMPETITIONS AND VOTING RIGHTS

  1. The document also contains the proposals to axe the League Cup(Carabao Cup) & FA Community Shield and reduce the number of professional clubs from 92 to 90.
  2. The biggest and the most controversial proposals of all these are the abolishing of ‘ONE CLUB, ONE VOTE’ which allows all the teams to have equal rights while discussing or enforcing any rule. Instead status will be awarded to nine longest serving teams the traditional Big Six, Everton, West Ham United and Southampton. As of 2020, it requires 14 votes to pass any change but according to the proposed changes it will require only six of the nine teams to agree on a majority. This will provide powers to clubs in the decisions of CEO removal, contracts and any new club ownership.
  3. Also bringing FFP in line with UEFA
  4. Introducing wages caps for lower tiers of football, changes in the loan system, new Premier League summer mini league and distribution of TV revenue.

ARGUMENTS FOR

EFL clubs are desperate for reinforcements and EFL chief Rick Perry has given unwavering support to this proposal saying,

“There’s an unbridgeable gulf between the Championship and the Premier League, and there are inequalities that parachute payments create and the crazy behaviours that arise in the Championship as a result, with 107 per cent of turnover being spent on wages and £400m of owner funding required every year. The struggles faced by League One and League Two clubs where again there is a lot of owner funding required, they have now taken steps to behave responsibly by introducing salary caps which is a step in the right direction – so there’s a whole series of short-term and long-term issues that need to be resolved. From our perspective, what ‘Big Picture’ does is address literally every single one of those inequalities.

“I’m also totally in agreement that in practical terms getting there will be challenging, but that’s not a reason not to have a go. That’s not a reason not to try and simply roll over.”

The Glazers and the FSG are quite confident that other Premier League clubs will support them for this project to move forward. They say that ‘the aim is to eliminate the gap between rich Premier clubs and EFL clubs and in return the nine clubs will have a greater say in the decisions of the Premier League.’

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

The opposition to this proposal has been fierce. Many fans and ex-players alike believe that this proposal is nothing but a power grab by the rich clubs who are trading finances for power. The Premier League have already voiced their displeasure over the proposal saying,

“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, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support”

The FA who were granted a golden share in the Premier League, allowing them to have a big say in important matters have said they will veto any such changes. There is an emergency called by the Premier League to discuss this proposal this week and it is to be seen what the outcome of this meeting would be.

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