1. Mr Banks
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  3. 11-10-2020 12:03


Manchester United and Liverpool are the driving force behind the biggest changes to English football in a generation and an extraordinary overhaul of the Premier League, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The two clubs have worked together on a radical set of proposals – called “Project Big Picture” - that will reshape the finances of the game. The Premier League, the most lucrative sports league in the world, would see a reduction to 18 teams, and controlling power in the hands of the biggest clubs.

In return for tearing up many of the rules that have governed the game since the Premier League’s inception in 1992 there will be £250 million rescue package to the Football League to see them through the Covid crisis.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the details of the working document “Revitalisation” authored by Liverpool’s American ownership Fenway Sports Group with support from United. It anticipates the backing of the other members of the so-called big six, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

In a remarkable set of proposals, which will send shockwaves through the game, 25 per cent of the Premier League’s annual revenue will go to the EFL clubs with £250 million paid up front to see them through the current crisis. There would also be a gift of £100 million to sustain the Football Association.

However, there would be an abolition of the one-club, one-vote principle that has sustained the Premier League since its inception as well as the abolition of the threshold of 14 votes to pass any decision or regulation change.

Under the new proposals, the Community Shield would be abolished
Under the new proposals, the Community Shield would be abolished CREDIT: Shutterstock
Under the new proposals, the League Cup and the Community Shield would be abolished. There have been additional discussions that the League Cup would survive but without the participation of the clubs in Europe.

There would be two automatic promotion places for Championship clubs, but the third, fourth and fifth placed clubs would be in a play-off tournament with the 16th placed Premier League club.

The nine clubs who have been in the Premier League for the longest - which includes the big six - would dictate its running in every aspect and would be free to play more games in the expanded Champions League that is anticipated from the 2024-2025 season onwards.

As well as the Premier League dropping from 20 clubs to 18, there would be 24 in each of the Championship, League One and League Two making a total of 90.

The plan is supported by the EFL chairman Rick Parry who has held talks with Liverpool’s principal owner, the American investor John W Henry, and shareholder and director Mike Gordon. In addition, Parry has spoken to the Glazer family, who own United.

The plan is supported by the EFL chairman Rick Parry
The plan is supported by the EFL chairman Rick Parry CREDIT: AP
The talks began in 2017 but have been accelerated since the coronavirus pandemic has thrust football into the grip of crisis with no fans in stadiums until March at the earliest. Liverpool and United are prepared for a fierce debate over their proposals but they want them implemented as soon as possible.

The Revitalisation document calls for immediate action to cut dramatically what it calls the “revenue chasm” in earnings from television contracts between the Premier League and the EFL. In order to discourage Championship clubs from gambling recklessly on promotion, the parachute payments system would be abolished in favour of the 25 per cent share of Premier League revenue being shared more equitably among EFL clubs.

Under proposals for the new model of distribution of television revenue in the Premier League, Fenway, the driving force behind the document, insist there would be no greater share for the top six. Their stated aim is to eliminate the huge gap in earnings between Premier League and EFL clubs while in return having a greater control of the decisions made by the Premier League.

The document says: “A reset of the economics and governance of the English football pyramid is long overdue”.

The proposals also rewrite the Premier League’s 20-club democracy in favour of placing huge power in the hands of the nine clubs with the longest continual stay in the division. As things stand that is the big six, as well as Everton, Southampton and West Ham. Those nine clubs afforded “long-term shareholder status” would have unprecedented power, with the votes of just six of them required to make sweeping changes. These clubs would even be able to veto a new owner taking over a rival club.

The power will move into the hands of the nine clubs with the longest continual stay in the division - which includes West Ham
The power would move into the hands of the nine clubs with the longest continual stay in the division - which includes West Ham CREDIT: Getty Images
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Parry said that he had the support of many of his 72 members, many currently facing financial ruin, to go ahead with the plan. He said: “What do we do? Leave it exactly as it is and allow the smaller clubs to wither? Or do we do something about it? And you can’t do something about it without something changing. And the view of our clubs is if the [big] six get some benefits but the 72 also do, we are up for it.”

He accepted there would be opposition from the Premier League clubs outside the big six who would see it as detrimental to their financial prospects with less money and two fewer places in the top flight.

“It is definitely going to be challenging and it is an enormous change so that won’t be without some pain,” Parry said: “Do I genuinely think it’s for the greater good of the game as a whole? Absolutely. And if the [big] six are deriving some benefit then why shouldn’t they. Why wouldn’t they put their names to this otherwise?”

The proposals include:

£250 million immediately to the EFL to compensate its clubs for lost matchday revenue, deducted from future television revenue earnings and financed by a loan taken out by the Premier League
Special status for the nine longest serving clubs – and the vote of only six of those “long-term shareholders” required to make major changes, including amending rules and regulations, agreeing contracts, removal of the chief executive, and a wide-ranging veto including on club ownership
Premier League to go to 18 clubs from 20
£100 million one-off gift to the FA to cover its coronavirus losses, the non-league game, the women’s game, the grassroots
8.5 per cent of annual net Premier League revenue to go on operating costs and “good causes” including the FA
From the remainder, 25 per cent of all combined Premier League and Football League revenues to go to the EFL clubs
Six per cent of Premier League gross revenues to pay for stadium improvements across the top four divisions, calculated at £100 per seat
New rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic, including proposals that base one portion on performance over three years in the league
The abolition of the League Cup and the Community Shield
24 clubs each in the Championship, League One and League Two reducing the professional game overall from 92 clubs to 90
A women's professional league independent of the Premier League or the FA
Two sides automatically relegated from the Premier League every season and the top two Championship teams promoted. The 16th place Premier League club in a play-off tournament with the Championship’s third, fourth and fifth placed teams.
Financial fair play regulations in line with Uefa, and full access for Premier League executive to club accounts
A fan charter including capping of away tickets at £20, away travel subsidised, a focus on a return to safe standing, a minimum away allocation of eight per cent capacity
Later Premier League start in August to give greater scope for pre-season friendlies, and requirement for all clubs to compete once every five years in a summer Premier League tournament
Huge changes to loan system allowing clubs to have 15 players out on loan domestically at any one time and up to four at a single club in England
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Parry has to go-anti football.Ironic that the two clubs who came up with this crazy scheme voted against it.Even more ironic that Piglet, who accuses me of plotting to flatten BP and build a distribution park in it, was in favour.

Pig-suggest you look up the definition of a floodplain.

Floodplains along with football are two things he struggles to understand.
  1. 15-10-2020 22:59
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Also why would anyone buildi a distribution centre near a city centre on a congested road . It would be a logistical nightmare.
  1. 15-10-2020 23:19
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I've never said Laffy, or anyone else, had plans to build a distribution centre on the site of Brunton Park.

It's an interesting idea however, even more interesting Laffy's the first and only one who mentions this. Make of that what you will.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the floodplain has to do with the price of chips as there's plenty of all types of whatever built on there currently.
  1. 15-10-2020 23:28
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Your constant references to individuals and companies with property experience and suggestive but tenuous notions of BP redevelopment are ridiculous.Show me one building that has been constructed in the last 15 years in the vicinity?

There is however evidence of an aborted attempt.The club sold a field a few years ago to a developer for Lidl or Aldi as you head towards Tesco heading east from BP.After the last flood, the council put the skids under that one by barring development in the area.

If the club land was not on a floodplain, it would have been sold years ago for cash.For that reason, BP has very limited alternative use, certainly none to me and never has done
  1. 16-10-2020 07:24
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EFL Statement: “The need for continued unity across the membership base was fundamental to discussions across all three divisions, and therefore there was a strong consensus that any rescue package must meet the requirements of all 72 Clubs before it can be considered in full.”

So instead of the conditional PL offer of £50m to L1& L2 what happens to EFL unity if the PL offers £150m, with a £100m going to the Championship?
  1. 16-10-2020 09:08
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Sure the championship have a veto on all EFL votes (clubs in own divisions and then championship as well need to agree) so likely them who vetoed it. Think this happened with the PPG proposals.
Would be odd for all of L1 to agree to it (as was reported) and for it then to be vetoed.
  1. 16-10-2020 09:25
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You are correct CW the Championship had the veto power to block the funds being accepted.
The solidarity of clubs in the EFL is exactly the same as the solidarity of clubs in the PL.
  1. 16-10-2020 11:51
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To be fair to Sir Lapp, if it was his plan to turn BP into a distribution centre, there was nothing to stop him combining the complex with a football stadium. Project Blue Lapping
  1. 16-10-2020 19:51
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So Brunton Park lacks an access road.

And the club owns lots of land which "can't be developed".

Imagine if you combined the two and built access to the site (running parallel to Warwick Road). For the price of a strip of tarmac you could unlock the site, it's a no brainer.

Just last year the Government was encouraging development on flood plain land, it may have since retracted that for residential development, but the case for commercial development still remains.

If I was a bit of a chancer with a few dodgy developer mates and a bit of (thoroughly legally) acquired coin, it would be fairly obvious you could make a quick buck on the site. First off you'd have to play dumb and pretend the site (and club) had no value, maybe even push the lie a bit just to cover your tracks. Then you'd need to either worm your way onto the board by pretending you're some sort of business big shot, failing that just hang around hoping the club will fail and you could pick it up for nixy noodles painting yourself as a "saviour".

If you're lucky enough to hit the jackpot, then it's not difficult to get the council on side for any potential development. "Boost to the area, economic investment, jobs, yadda yadda", grease a few palms say the right things in the media and Bob's your Uncle.

All purely hypothetical, of course.
  1. 17-10-2020 00:38
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Sounds like it’s your plan-get a life you bore
  1. 17-10-2020 11:07
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EFL clubs supposedly coming together to refuse to pay HMRC this week.

Holding the government to ransom as it doesn’t look like any premier league bail out will be quick, if ever.

Going to drag on for months, I still think the season will be suspended before long.
  1. 18-10-2020 18:51
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Is it just me that’s got completely fed up with football owners and authorities the last few weeks and couldn’t care less what happens anymore?

It’s left a bitter taste in my mouth all the scheming, lies and corruptness the last few weeks just to get more money, for the rich and more power and screw everyone else.

It’s not a sport anymore or at least it’s very hard to identify it as such.
  1. 20-10-2020 14:58
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Quelle surprise.
Always thought this would run alongside the PL, but maybe not.
  1. 20-10-2020 15:34
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Many fans of PL clubs, never mind the rest of the country, are already jaded with too many European club fixtures in the current Champions League and Europa League formats.

There's no novelty about any European fixtures any more, they've all played each other too many times too recently and the above competitions only get interesting once you get to the semi finals.

I don't believe there's any great appetite for this among the majority of PL fans, who find domestic fixtures and rivalries more interesting.
  1. 20-10-2020 16:07
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Semi-related, and don't know how true it is, but twitter saying leaked viewing figures for PPV for Burnely West Brom are a whole 74 buys.
Surprised it is that many to be honest.
  1. 20-10-2020 16:45
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I think it is a great idea, and inevitable.
Only proviso being that they have to leave the premiership and when everyone gets bored of their 'super league' they have to rejoin with their tails between their legs at the bottom of the pyramid.
In the meantime football in this country will have been returned to the people and be far more interesting and competitive to boot.
Bring it on.
  1. 20-10-2020 19:26
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If it turns out to be right good riddance to them.
  1. 20-10-2020 19:39
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Timing for this is appalling as Gary Neville has pointed out tonight-as always, utter greed driven by American owners
  1. 20-10-2020 21:14
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