LONDON —- Sweeping changes to the English football pyramid could be around the corner – and four of the country’s biggest clubs were reportedly made an offer to ditch the Premier League.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says he could look into fan-led governance of English football after plans were unveiled to overhaul the league system in Project Big Picture. Four of the Premier League’s Big Six were reportedly offered the chance to rejoin the English Football League – and take their European places with them – amid the proposed revamp of English football.
Manchester United and Liverpool are at the centre of plans to essentially move power of the English game into the hands of its biggest clubs, revealed on Sunday.Led by EFL supremo and former Anfield chief Rick Parry, the proposals would see the top flight reduced to 18 teams and the potential for more European football further down the line.
It also claims to narrow the financial gap between the Premier League and the EFL – but any sweeping changes to the pyramid would need to be agreed upon by the country’s most successful clubs.Arsenal and Man City were among the clubs reportedly offered the chance to rejoin the EFL.
The plans have, however, come under fire from the Premier League itself and the government, with a spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport labelling it “a backroom deal being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game”.
And, according to The Sun, the other four clubs in the Big Six – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchesster City and Tottenham – were offered the chance to breakaway to the EFL and retain their places in Europe.
When asked about the supposed offer, Parry told The Sun: “I’m not commenting on that. There are no threats. This is designed to be for the greater good of English football.”
Despite criticism, Parry had earlier insisted the idea would safeguard the long-term future of English football.“It’s two of our great clubs showing leadership when it’s needed and exercising great responsibility,” he said.
This provides long-term hope and will make our clubs sustainable.”Other facets of the proposals include scrapping the Carabao Cup and the Community Shield, while an initial bailout of £250 million would be paid to EFL clubs who are struggling amid the loss in revenue caused by coronavirus.
Those sides would also be promised a quarter of Premier League revenues for at least 25 years. — Mirror.