Liverpool and Manchester United, England's two biggest clubs, are reportedly proposing significant changes to English soccer. The proposal -- called Project Big Picture -- calls for numerous modifications, including reducing the amount of teams in the Premier League and giving more power to the biggest clubs.
The news was first reported by The Telegraph. Here's everything you need to know:
What's the proposal?
United and Liverpool have drawn up a proposal to change various aspects of the sport including:
- Reducing the Premier League from 20 teams to 18
- Eliminating the EFL Cup and the Community Shield match
- Changing the voting structure of the Premier League
- Modifying the funding models for the English Football League and Football Association
- 25 percent of Premier League and EFL revenue going to EFL clubs
- 100 million pound gift to the FA
Talks have already taken place between United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City with the clubs hoping an agreement can be reached.
The original plan reportedly came from Liverpool's ownership group, Fenway Sports Group. Under this plan, the clubs with the longest continued presence in the top flight, which includes the big six, would be given long-term shareholder status with just six of the nine clubs needing to vote in favor of a change for it to be implemented.
Aside from removing two Premier League teams, there would also be changes to promotion and relegation. The bottom two Premier League clubs would be relegated and the top two from the Championship would earn promotion. The third-to-last Premier League team would then play in a play-off with the third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams from the second division.
Did the Premier League respond?
Yes, and swiftly.
We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this country.
English football is the world's most watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe. To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together. Both the Premier League and The FA support a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game, including its competition structures, calendar and overall financing particularly in light of the effects of COVID-19.
Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute.
In the Premier League's view, 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 Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for COVID-19 rescue funding. This work will continue.
How would this get done?
As things stand, any potential changes would have to see 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs vote in favor. It's unclear what the likelihood is at this moment, but it would essentially include clubs voting to give up their future votes on important matters.