'Project Big Picture' – What are the papers saying?

‘Project Big Picture’ has hit the headlines, so what are the newspapers saying?

The Telegraph: Project Big Picture ‘dead in the water’

The Premier League opponents to Project Big Picture (PBP) have declared it “dead in the water”, with at least 13 of the member clubs understood to be united against it ahead of what promises to be a defining shareholders meeting on Wednesday, writes The Telegraph.

  • Wenger: If nothing happens, smaller clubs will die
  • FA against Project Big Picture, PL clubs have serious concerns
  • Project Big Picture Q&A: A non-starter or football’s future?

English football has been split in two over the astonishing proposals authoured by Liverpool and Manchester United – with virtually blanket support for them from the 72 clubs of the Football League (EFL).

Sources have indicated in the face of majority opposition from the Premier League, the only way forward for Liverpool and United – and any other leading clubs who throw their support in with the two – would be to leave and join the EFL.

The Telegraph: PL clubs outside Big Six fear being worse off

Premier League clubs outside the elite fear they would be worse off under the terms proposed by Project Big Picture (PBP), the Liverpool and Manchester United-driven restructure of the English game which would see the top flight reduced from 20 to 18 clubs, reports The Telegraph.

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Since details of the plan, already on its 18th draft, were revealed, the rest of the clubs in the league have pored over the details of how revenue would be divided at the proposed PBP start point – the 2022/23 season.

The latest PBP draft is currently doing the rounds at Premier League clubs with projections for what each club would earn in 2022/23 compared to the earnings by club for the 2019/20 season. The Premier League has told clubs its central principle of being the most equitable league in Europe is under threat from PBP, proposals going from a ration of 1:1.7 currently between top and bottom to 1:4 by the 2025/26 season if PBP was adopted.

Also, in The Telegraph…

Radical proposals to inject £51m into women’s football have emerged in the latest version of Project Big Picture alongside an unprecedented proposition to form an independent women’s league.

Tottenham Hotspur will be able to claim back around £125m for the costs of their new stadium and Liverpool around £30m on their newly-built Main stand under a clause in the “Project Big Picture” proposals.

The Mail: Liverpool and United remain determined

Liverpool and Manchester United remain determined to bring about a radical restructure that would reduce the size of the Premier League despite fierce opposition from the top flight’s executive, many of its clubs and the government.

On another dramatic day, Boris Johnson added his voice to the condemnation of Project Big Picture, the FA indicated they could use their ‘golden share’ to block the reforms and the EFL were thrust into fresh turmoil with the resignation of chief executive David Baldwin just when the future of chairman Rick Parry was being questioned.

The Premier League rebels will not be deterred by the chaos that has engulfed them since their controversial plans were leaked on Sunday, and will outline their case at an emergency meeting of the 20 clubs later this week.

According to The Mail, Liverpool owner John Henry and his United counterpart Joel Glazer held crisis talks on Monday about how to take their project forward in the face of mounting opposition.

The Times: FA will veto ‘big six’ plan to seize power

The FA would use its “golden share” to veto any power grab by the ‘big six’ clubs that it thought would damage the Premier League, writes The Times.

Revelations of “Project Big Picture”, a revolutionary plan led by Liverpool and Manchester United and backed by Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, have caused uproar, with critics claiming it would allow the “big six” of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs to increase their revenue massively at the expense of smaller Premier League clubs.

Also, The Times reports the EFL rejected a £375m offer from an American investment firm for a 20 per cent stake in the league that would have helped to solve the clubs’ cash crisis

The Mirror: PL clubs could take ‘big six’ to court

Premier League clubs could be set to take the ‘big six’ to court over Project Big Picture, reports the Daily Mirror.

A specially-convened meeting of the top flight’s shareholders is expected to be a fiery affair this week over plans condemned as a power grab by the group led by Manchester United and Liverpool.

Chief among the concerns is the fear the Premier League’s top foreign owners want to prevent any threat to their domination – in return for bailing out the cash-strapped EFL.

The Mail: Parry’s job under threat

Rick Parry’s job as EFL chairman is under threat amid concerns his secret negotiations over Project Big Picture could cost the clubs a bailout from the Premier League, reports the Daily Mail.

At an EFL board meeting last week, it was revealed seven clubs could go bust later this month if they do not receive a rescue package from the Premier League.

That bailout has been jeopardised by Parry’s talks with Liverpool and Manchester United over a radical restructure of the top flight.

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