Liverpool, Manchester United Support Radical EPL Restructuring Plan

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Premier League Soccer Player
  • Liverpool, Manchester United among clubs showing support for a plan that would restructure the Premier League
  • The plan would reduce Premier League from 20 clubs to 18 clubs and nine longest-tenured teams would have voting power
  • Premier League has already come out against the plan

While the 2020-21 soccer season has gotten underway all across Europe, many leagues are still figuring out how to best deal with the fallout of the pandemic. The vast majority of leagues are staging games without fans in attendance, which is something that has massive negative ramifications for the financial bottom lines of clubs and leagues alike.

According to ESPN, the powers-that-be in English soccer are trying to come up with adjustments that would help ease the financial burden caused by the pandemic. The list of ideas includes radical changes, including potentially altering the structure of the Premier League.

According to ESPN, massive clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United have shown support for a plan that would completely overhaul the structure of English soccer.

The Telegraph reported last week that the plan, which has been called “Project Big Picture,” would change the way finances are shared in the Premier League and the English Football League. The plan, which was formally proposed by EFL chairman Rick Parry, would result in the Premier League being reduced from 20 teams to 18. Most of the power would be handed to the nine clubs that have been in the top tier the longest. The League Cup and Community Shield would also be abolished.

More Power for Big Clubs

As things stand today, every club in the Premier League has equal amounts of voting power with regard to all league matters. If the new plan is adopted, the only clubs with voting power in the league right now would be Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Southampton, Chelsea, and West Ham.

Just six of those nine clubs would have to vote in favor in order for the plan to be enacted. Parry told the Telegraph,

“It is definitely going to be challenging and it is an enormous change, so that won’t be without some pain.”

Parry added, “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?”

In return, EFL clubs would be given 25 percent of all Premier League revenues on an annual basis. Every other club would also be given an additional £250 million to shore up their finances while the pandemic continues, with another £100 million directed to the Football Association.

Reducing the Premier League from 20 clubs to 18 would mean there are just two automatic promotion spots up for grabs in the Championship. The third-, fourth-, and fifth-place clubs in the second tier would play in a playoff tournament with the No. 16 club in the Premier League table to secure a spot in the top flight for the next season.

Premier League Rebukes Plan

A statement issued by the Premier League, however, derided the plan and said it is important that all clubs work together. The statement read,

“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.”

It continued, “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 and 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.”

Discussions of this nature actually started back in 2017, but they have gained steam in recent months as a result of the ongoing health crisis affecting much of Europe. Parry and other advocates of the new proposal believe that something must be done to ensure that every tier of English soccer is able to survive these difficult times.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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