Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Premier League anger over secret talks leaves Project Big Picture already set to fail

Premier League anger over secret talks leaves Project Big Picture already set to fail
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Project Big Picture is set to fail at the first hurdle amid deepening anger and splits between Premier League clubs.

The Premier League will hold a meeting this week – most likely Wednesday – when they will discuss the master plan put forward by Liverpool, Manchester United and EFL chairman Rick Parry.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham have also been involved in the talks while other clubs have been left furious at the clandestine nature of the negotiations.

It has caused a backlash from fans, the Government have condemned the plan and Chelsea, City, Arsenal and Tottenham appear to be keeping a distance until knowing the fall-out.

The plan – which includes the Premier League being reduced to 18 clubs and the Big Six having more say and bigger rewards before offering a £250m bail out to the EFL – would need to be voted through but already looks a non-starter.

Secretary of State Oliver Dowden has even warned the Government could step in while the Prime Minister’s spokesman also issued a statement.

Rick Parry has attached himself to Man Utd and Liverpool’s proposal

Dowden said: “If we keep having these backroom deals and all these other things going on we will have to look again at the underlying governance of football.

“We promised in the (general election) manifesto a fan-led review and I must say the events I have seen the past few weeks have made this seem more urgent again.

“Unless the clubs and the Premier League and the EFL can get together urgently in order to support the game through this difficult period of time it does raise genuine questions about the governance of the sport.”

John W. Henry is front and centre where the proposals are concerned

The PM’s spokesman warned Project Big Picture “does not command support through Premier League and it is exactly this type of back room dealing that undermines trust in football’s governance.

“We strongly urge PL and EFL to continue to work constructively to come up with a deal.”

The Football Association is also watching on with interest and can step in to block it going through, although there are good and bad elements from their perspective to the rescue package.

It is understood Parry together with Liverpool and United are standing firmly behind the plan and the EFL view is that at least it has got people talking.

But there are also splits within the Premier League over a potential EFL bail out which has yet to be approved.

There is a growing feeling the Government will step in to save League One and Two clubs but this latest development has not gone down well with talks at a delicate stage.

However, Premier League clubs will be expected to step in to help the Championship but one top flight chief executive insisted: “Why are Burnley expected to save Derby? It does not add up and makes no sense.”

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