Premier League clubs reject Project Big Picture plans in meeting

PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT IN FULL: 

All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that “Project Big Picture” will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA.

Further, Premier League Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.

Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.

This project has the full support of The FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, Government and, of course, the EFL.

Also at today’s meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season.

League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.

This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50million on top of the £27.2million solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2million.

Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs’ financial needs. This addresses Government concerns about lower-league clubs’ financial fragility.

Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.

Premier League WILL bail out struggling League One and League Two clubs with £50m in grants and interest-free loans… but the Championship misses out on cash injection as clubs vote to scrap Project Big Picture

The Premier League has announced that League One and League Two clubs will be bailed out with £50m in grants and interest-free loans, but Championship clubs will miss out.

The 20 Premier League clubs met on Wednesday via video conference to discuss the controversial Project Big Picture plans, which were put forward by Liverpool and Manchester United last weekend.

But the 20 clubs swiftly rejected the proposals and instead agreed to a widespread strategy review and also gave the green light to a new bailout offer to the EFL after their opening attempt was rejected.  

Premier League will bail out struggling League One and League Two clubs amid coronavirus

And it was agreed among top flight clubs that they would make available a rescue package to help League One and League Two clubs as they risk going out of business as a result of financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, a statement by the Premier League outlined that the rescue package was for the bottom two divisions in the EFL, meaning the Championship clubs will miss out on the cash injection. 

The reasoning behind this was that, in the top flight’s view, League One and League Two clubs have been more seriously impacted by the lack of matchday revenue caused by behind-closed-doors games.

‘At today’s meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020-21 season,’ a statement from the Premier League read.

The two leagues have been impacted most by lack of matchday revenue due to coronavirus

The two leagues have been impacted most by lack of matchday revenue due to coronavirus

‘League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.’

The statement went onto outline that the renewed offer will consist of grants and interest-loan fees totalling £50m. The Premier League had given £27.2m of solidarity payments to League One and League Two earlier this year. 

The Premier League added that discussions as to how to financially support Championship clubs will continue. 

EFL chief Rick Parry supported the plans that would have afforded more power to the Big Six

EFL chief Rick Parry supported the plans that would have afforded more power to the Big Six

The EFL rejected the Premier League’s initial £150million rescue package – a £40m grant and £110m loan dependent on a series of conditions.

The lower divisions would have had to give top-flight clubs control of the calendar, their spending levels and post-Brexit work-permit arrangements, as well as scrapping the League Cup and accepting there will be no promotion from the Championship in the event of curtailment unless 75 per cent of fixtures have been completed.

The EFL have been seeking a bailout from the Premier League to help them cope with the Covid-19 crisis since May, when a rescue package was made mandatory if the Government was to support Project Restart.  

By Ollie Lewis

Add Comment