The Premier League were taken by surprise, let’s face it we all were when the announcement of ‘Project Big Picture’ came to light a few days ago.
In a nutshell the project wants to hand more power to the big six clubs through revenue and also three historic clubs which would include Everton and West Ham. Money would be distributed to EFL clubs, that’s the good of the deal for most. But a new rule would see the Premier League follow the Bundesliga and reduce the league from 20 clubs to 18. That would mean just 34 league games a season. Also the team that finish in 16th place would not be relegated until they played a play-off with a Championship team.
The new rules do not stop there. The Community Shield would be abolished as would the league cup. Many secondary league cups have in fact been taken off the football calendar due to fixture congestion, and whilst this could be a good thing, other clubs will argue that there would only be two chances of silverware up for grabs. With the league title out of reach for the majority of clubs that would only leave the FA Cup.
Alas that doesn’t mean less football though as Project Big Picture would arrange a summer tournament for Premier League clubs, another competition after just winning the league and wrapping it up would feel on the face of it tiresome.
Project Big Picture would also mean that the other 9 clubs in the league would simply be forgotten and we wouldn’t have a level playing field. This project make no mistake is all about power.
Frantic meetings have taken place and one such one will take place this week where it is expected that the majority of clubs will reject the idea- much to the Premier League’s relief.
Of course the bait being used by Project Big Picture is to effectively save clubs in lower leagues. Many clubs including six in the Championship, England’s second tier have said that they will fold due to the Coronavirus pandemic unless they are given money. The project would save the clubs, it has been reported than an initial £250m would be released for clubs in trouble.
But whilst there might be some advantages to the proposals some do see it as quite controversial. For example why change such a winning model as the Premier League? Also is this honestly the right time for such change given the crisis the world is going through right now? At the same time some will argue that change is needed within football. But one cannot escape the thought that the big six clubs are ultimately thinking of themselves in the long run, and this could well be damaging for football in England.
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