‘Clubs will not back Project Big Picture’

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Premier League clubs have “unanimously agreed” that ‘Project Big Picture’ will not be “endorsed or pursued”.

The controversial plans, proposed by Liverpool and Manchester United, were rejected at a meeting of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight on Wednesday.

Instead, all clubs agreed to “work together” on a new “strategic plan” for the “financing of English football”.

The clubs also decided on a £50m rescue package for League One and Two clubs at the meeting.

‘Project Big Picture’ involved reducing the Premier League from 20 to 18 clubs and scrapping the EFL Cup and Community Shield.

In addition, the English Football League would have got 25% of all future TV deals, which would have been negotiated jointly, plus a £250m bail-out.

However, it would also have seen more power transferred to the so-called ‘big six’ Premier League clubs.

A statement from the Premier League said its members had “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”.

It added: “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.”

More to follow.

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