Premier League hits back at Man Utd and Liverpool plans to revamp game and warns change could have 'damaging impact'

THE Premier League has released a statement lashing out at the 'damaging' proposal to change the face of English football forever.

On Sunday it was revealed Liverpool and Man Utd were leading the charge to introduce a host of changes.

Amongst the changes, it was suggested the top-flight would be reduced to an 18-team league, with the League Cup and Community Shield scrapped.

The proposal, authored by Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, and backed by Man Utd also pledged to help the Football League and cap costs for fans on away days.

But the Premier League has hit back saying many elements of the proposal- dubbed 'Project Big Picture' – had the potential to damage football irreparably.

The statement read: "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.

"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."

Earlier in the day, details of the 'Revitalisation' document promised to give the Premier League its biggest shake-up since its 1992 inception.

Liverpool and United are hopeful Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham will all get on board with their proposed changes.

Above all other changes, the clubs have proposed to give struggling EFL clubs £250million to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Moving forward, Premier League clubs will give a massive 25 per cent of their income to teams in the Football League.

The move is said to help end the 'revenue chasm' between the Premier League and Football League.

PROPOSED PREMIER LEAGUE CHANGES IN FULL

  • EFL given £250m for loss of matchday revenue – deducted from future TV earnings.
  • Nine longest-serving clubs have 'special status' – with just six votes from those clubs needed to pass a new rule.
  • Premier League to go from 20 clubs to 18.
  • FA awarded £100m gift to help during Covid-19 pandemic to help non-league game, the women’s game and grassroots football.
  • 8.5 per cent of annual net Premier League revenue to go to 'good causes', including the FA.
  • 25 per cent of all combined Premier League and Football League revenues to go to EFL clubs.
  • Six per cent of Premier League gross revenues to pay for stadium improvements across the top four divisions.
  • New rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic.
  • League Cup and the Community Shield to be axed.
  • 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 and FA.
  • Two sides automatically relegated from the Premier League every season and the top two Championship teams promoted.
  • The 16th place Premier League club plays 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.
  • Away tickets for fans to be capped at £20, with 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.

*According to The Telegraph

On top of that, the top-flight clubs will gift the FA £100m to help it stay afloat and away tickets for fans will be capped at £20.

Outside of financial matters, the new proposal would see the League Cup AND Community Shield scrapped.

In the Championship, there will still be two automatic promotion places – with just two relegated from the Premier League.

The third, fourth and fifth-placed second-tier sides will then go into a play-off mini-tournament along with the Premier League's 16th-placed team.

The Premier League's one-club, one-vote rule will also be abolished under proposed changes – with the 14-vote threshold to pass any new rule canned.

The nine clubs who've been in the top-flight for the longest period of time, including the 'Big Six' would dictate how the league is run.

And just six of those nine clubs – which include Everton, Southampton and West Ham – need to vote in favour of something for a new rule to be passed.

That, in turn, would see them play more games in the proposed, expanded Champions League – set to come into force for the 2024-25 season.

The entire plan has received backing from EFL chief Rick Parry – who spoke with Liverpool's owners about the changes.

Parry has also spoken with Man Utd's owners, the Glazer family, regarding the project.

He claimed: “Do I genuinely think it’s for the greater good of the game as a whole? Absolutely."

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