Three years in the making, the details of a document dubbed "Project Big Picture" (PBP), were revealed by The Telegraph newspaper over the weekend. In it, the two clubs' owners laid out, among other positive measures, an overhaul of the way broadcast revenues are distributed to the EFL, provided for an emergency bailout of £250m for clubs in the lower tiers threatened with extinction by the Covid-19 crisis, a cash injection to cover the Football Association's losses due to the pandemic, and investment for grassroots football and the women's game.
In return, however, the clubs, tacitly backed by Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, wanted to reduce the top division to 18 teams and to scrap the one club, one vote democratic system that has been in place since 1992 and place voting power instead in the hands of the nine longest-serving clubs of the Premier League era — the so-called "big six" plus Everton, West Ham and Southampton.
Due to the more controversial of the proposals, PBP was unanimously declared a non-starter during a meeting of the 20 Premier League clubs today but the League has resolved to undertake a wide-ranging “strategic review” that will seek to implement the key measures, particularly those relating to a greater share of the money to EFL on an ongoing basis.
Furthermore, according to The Guardian, Everton CEO, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, demanded an apology from Liverpool and United which was denied by the clubs' representatives, Tom Werner and Ed Woodward.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “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.”
According to The Telegraph today, the backers of PBP were said to be "delighted at concessions also announced in the Premier League statement that promised clubs would work on a 'strategic' plan for the future structure, governance and finance of English football."
The League said the review would be an “open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability”.
In the short term, a £50m rescue package of loans and grants aimed at shoring up clubs in League One and League Two will be assembled . Discussions over aid for Championship clubs will continue.
Reader Comments (77)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:17:52
2 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:28:44
3 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:34:39
4 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:37:39
5 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:50:18
6 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:51:41
7 Posted 14/10/2020 at 20:56:50
8 Posted 14/10/2020 at 21:01:29
‘If you invite a vampire over the threshold, dont be surprised when it rips your throat out...
Something like that but much more eloquent.
These people are vampires and can pretend to care about the rest of football all they want. Thankfully the rest of football arent stupid and dont want to hand even more power to a couple of deluded billionaires.
Pass the wooden steak.
9 Posted 14/10/2020 at 21:04:10
Frank and Stan, I hope DBB reiterates her demand. It won't happen, of course, but that's a flag worth planting deep.
10 Posted 14/10/2020 at 21:13:03
11 Posted 14/10/2020 at 21:20:09
I dont see any victory at all for the two dodgy parties, but you could argue they were trying to pre-empt the inevitable big review, and it back-fired for them big time.
Its telling that every red I know is currently silent on the matter.
They say that power corrupts. Its also true that a hunger for power leads to daft ill-considered decisions that have a danger of back-firing.
12 Posted 14/10/2020 at 22:12:06
13 Posted 14/10/2020 at 22:15:51
14 Posted 14/10/2020 at 22:27:15
15 Posted 14/10/2020 at 22:36:01
“It was Everton who were the first to mention the T word. Trust. There wasn't a lot of it in the room, as the authors of Project Big Carve-up faced their fellow Premier League shareholders.“
16 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:03:10
17 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:05:01
18 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:06:44
I'm glad they've been rejected. But I'm even more glad they've been called out. Once trust is eroded, it takes a long time to repair.
19 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:07:09
20 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:12:09
I'm not for a second suggesting she didn't do it. I'm sure she did. It just seemed stage-managed. Perhaps her part was written or rehearsed. Then afterwards, the yarn is told to the press in the theatrical manner it was and used for maximum effect.
I'm just seeing a certain person's hand at work here. Not saying he hasn't managed this well, or that DBB hasn't done her part exceptionally well either. Just it's playing out in a way he would have hoped.
21 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:14:06
“Perhaps her part was written or rehearsed. Then afterwards, the yarn is told to the press in the theatrical manner it was and used for maximum effect.”
And maybe it wasn't.
22 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:19:18
23 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:19:28
Steve @22: Isn't it kind of obvious that some homework would have been done to prepare what to say, as per normal sensible practice for any important meeting? I think using terms like ‘stage-managed' might be a tad dramatic.
24 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:22:11
25 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:28:27
The point is not what she did, it's how what she did is being portrayed in the press. As I said, it's all very theatrical and gone the way he'd have dreamed it would.
26 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:35:09
27 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:39:01
28 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:42:51
29 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:44:25
30 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:46:28
Steve considering your professional background, you do occasionally make a lot of suppositions. Of course, your speculations may be true but then again they may not.
31 Posted 14/10/2020 at 23:54:15
Plus this isn't work, it's a bit of fun to forget the stresses of work and the last thing I want to do is be 100% serious.
32 Posted 15/10/2020 at 01:04:20
Something had to be done regarding the Covid Crisis. The Premier League were stalling and generally were poor in managing the crisis response.
In my opinion, Parry latched on to favourable sounding of Liverpool and Man Utd. He let them attach their oft-mooted ideas on to his recovery ideas. The objective of the proposal was to get the Premier League to discuss it.
All the parties involved in the proposal have achieved that objective and the proposals will be on the agenda of the strategic review as well as the opinions of other clubs.
It is in Strategic review that the fight begins, with the on-going Covid Crisis providing the motivation to come to an agreement. Prior to this, the proposal was nothing more than a negotiating ploy to force structural discussions.
John, no apology needed. You are right in your assessment of the motivation of the two clubs involved. They are using the Covid Crisis to further their objectives, but solutions to the effect of the Covid Crisis on Clubs will be discussed.
In my opinion, both Liverpool and Man Utd are trying to return to the days prior to Leicester winning the Premier League, where six clubs effectively controlled the Premier League and the other clubs' objective was to join them. Leicester's win was done by employing an experienced manager. Everton are threatening to do the same.
The scenario has now changed from expensive players to experienced managers and a squad assembled at low cost. It's a far more flexible way to operate, regenerating a consistent competitive team.
There is no chance that the status quo will return and these two clubs may have inadvertently initiated change that may not have the favourable outcome they want.
33 Posted 15/10/2020 at 01:20:35
Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore
Oh, you're so condescending
Your gall is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you
Oh, were not going to take it etc, etc.
No insult intended but I could easily imagine DBB, giving her Dolores Umbrage style strident, sharp-tongued harridan to all the mere males gathered before her.
34 Posted 15/10/2020 at 01:50:13
35 Posted 15/10/2020 at 02:43:51
Who's responsible for that in our boardroom in the past 25 years I wonder?
Answers on a postcard please.
36 Posted 15/10/2020 at 09:30:26
DDB would not have spoken out without the approval of the board, who may well see the benefit of not being party to such proposals, and I am not of the persuasion that the two main protagonists achieved what they wanted, a strategic review... more that they failed and wanted to save face by dressing up their failure in success.
The damage caused to both teams is immense; neither team will win the league this season... I doubt they will win anything. Man Utd will finish well below Everton and Liverpool will struggle, especially after the forthcoming defeat at Goodison. They can see the writing on the wall and are merely trying to consolidate their power before it's too late.
Memo to protagonists: You lost.
37 Posted 15/10/2020 at 09:54:03
38 Posted 15/10/2020 at 11:53:53
I believe that the last thing those two wanted was a Strategic Review with all stakeholders present. Maybe a cosy group of representatives from a few clubs... now who would that be? – to solve our problems for us.
39 Posted 15/10/2020 at 15:04:51
I hope that life in New Zealand is treating you well. The thing that puzzles me in this attempt by Liverpool and Manchester United, possibly supported by others, is that the people who proposed the overhaul of the system voted against their own proposal.
I feel that, if their intention was to assist lower League clubs, then they and fellow Premier League members could have constructed a scheme to do so, without altering the pyramid structure. Part of their deal was that two clubs would lose their places in League Two.
t's true that some good will come out of the situation but my point is, if they could come up with a rescue plan which contained conditions, then they could do so with no strings attached.
There wasn't any attempt to come to the rescue of Bury FC long before the Covid-19 pandemic. Premier League clubs, and I include Everton were quite content to allow one of the oldest clubs in the country to perish, when a donation would have helped them survive until a solution to their problems could be found. Maybe I'm using Yesteryear sentiments.
40 Posted 15/10/2020 at 15:20:44
You ride a mighty big horse, Lady.
41 Posted 15/10/2020 at 15:34:24
I agree with you regarding placings, but find it hard to get my head around, after this last 20 years. In the case of the Strategic Review, it's a case of being careful what you wish for.
This is one area that I do think Kenwright will be good at. His ability to baffle knows no bounds. Everton, in their response, appear to know what the ball game is.
42 Posted 15/10/2020 at 15:43:15
On the demise of Bury, Bill Kenwright the individual and Everton FC the collective did try to help them out, but were told they could not as it infringed EFL and FA regulations.
Manchester City for the last five years gave Bury rent-free access to Bury to their former Carrington training ground.
Full story here:
43 Posted 15/10/2020 at 15:59:34
Financial help for the lower league clubs was, supposedly, part of the deal to allow football to re-start behind closed doors. The lower league clubs are still waiting.
In both our lifetimes all of the so called Big 6 (with the exception of Arsenal) have been relegated; Man City many times and as low as Div 3 and Chelsea were always a yoyo club.
The 'big six' would have had a built in majority to make any change they wanted. Under their power grab proposals what would have stopped them abolishing relegation if some of them were struggling at the wrong end of the table?
For all his faults ('it was foggy' v Ajax, 'travesty of justice' etc etc) Bill Shankly believed in equality of opportunity and the fair share of the rewards. He would have been absolutely appalled at what his club has become.
44 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:00:12
Give us all a rest and try and find something to smile about.
45 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:03:28
Regards leaks to the press, I couldn't care less. If Denise wasn't the first to mention Trust then that would be quickly dismissed by others in the meeting.
Anything that helps us to continue being seen in a positive light is good for me. Prior to this break we were receiving plenty of attention for the right reasons. I really hope we can do the business Saturday lunchtime and perhaps we can start to be taken a bit more seriously. I'd love to shut all the dickheads up on twitter.
46 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:12:52
Change is inevitable so we have to get used to it but nothing wrong with fighting it. Corporate greed is rife and always will be in a capitalistic society.
47 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:21:35
So, back to the football. Can't wait for Saturday...
48 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:22:56
49 Posted 15/10/2020 at 16:43:35
How much of the bailout money to lower clubs will go to the pockets of loan sharks and scumbags like the guy who ruined Bury? Or the fake shell company created to send Wigan into administration? Honestly, I think it might be better to follow the Accrington model, let them sink then start over.
50 Posted 15/10/2020 at 17:07:01
Problem today is, I think for the majority of clubs that fail, there will be no way back. What we have known, may be about to be decimated.
51 Posted 15/10/2020 at 17:08:28
You can either like or dislike her but, before you accuse her of not having a mind of her own as CEO of Everton FC to look after their interests, you should check out her qualifications for this appointment.
There is a lot more to running an organization as big as Everton FC apart from the football side of it and Moshiri has made sure he has the football side covered with Brands and Ancelotti.
My question: Is the Premier League helping out the lower league clubs? And if not why? Why not have each premier team contribute 5% or more of their gate receipts, with Sky Sports also contributing the same % for the fees received for broadcasting rights around the world.
There may be some plans or a future meeting to discuss this subject but it should include a set income over the next 15 years to lower league clubs instead of one-off payment distributed.
52 Posted 15/10/2020 at 17:19:49
Honestly I would have some kind of audit of clubs. Preston for example claim to be solvent, others like Oldham are rancid. Give the bailout money to those who are viable outside of covid, and make future plans to give them additional TV money. The ones indebted to scum, let them sink.
Wimbledon FC started from scratch and soundly run have made it back up into the league. If say Derby County have to go bust, if there's genuine interest in the city, there is no reason why they can't reform and climb their way up the ladder.
53 Posted 15/10/2020 at 17:25:53
"My question: is the Premier League helping out the lower league clubs? And if not, why?"
Another question would be: Why have Arsenal laid off dozens of employees to cut costs but then will be turning around and paying interest on exorbitant debts run up by crooks running lower league clubs who chose to take on liabilities in the form of wages that exceeded their income, even before Covid?
54 Posted 15/10/2020 at 17:33:00
What happened at Wigan was utter, overt corruption, and sickening to see it played out, just knowing that the right steps will ultimately never be taken.
As ever, the fans and communities (in the real sense) will be the losers. History means essentially nothing now. The disruption suits too many vested interests at the top of the pyramid.
55 Posted 15/10/2020 at 18:14:09
You're dead right. There are many blues who cannot ever see anything positive in the business management of the club whatever they do. Before the meeting yesterday there were blues on various threads suggesting that the reason EFC had made no comment about TBP was that the club probably supported it not least because it could recoup a vast sum towards the stadium and how some of them would never darken the turnstiles again if that dastardly consent was given.
Instead of that, Denise raises more objections than any other club, demands an apology, does what all Evertonians wanted her to do but instead of being a reason for pride in the club and it's response to it becomes a seed for suspicion and baseless insinuation.
56 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:13:40
Hi Bill  I'm not aware of the agreements regarding the resumption of football matches behind closed doors, so I think it's best if I don't comment further.
57 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:29:08
My complaint like everyone else was this Project Big Picture was a cash + power grab by certain clubs who offered a sum to lower league clubs and then they were basically on their own. I think the Premier League are in a better financial position to help lower leagues and the example I gave made sure the richer clubs paid more.
There are a lot of problems that can and should be solved to help struggling lower league clubs and an example can be seen when our own chairman was denied financial help for Bury.
As I said there may be consultations already going on but the Premier League cant bury their heads in the sand over this problem as most of them either have bought players or have them on loan at lower league clubs.
58 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:37:24
They should set parameters for support based on their outgoings to operate not their lost income, in essence just keep them ticking over. There should be no funding to cover debts, if a club is the sold the funding and a level of interest should be paid back to the pot before any other monies are syphoned off
Finally I have been a critic of DBB in the past but I am truely full of administration for her on this occasion calling out the RS and Man Utd on this cluster-fuck of a power grab.
59 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:42:31
60 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:51:44
"There are a lot of clubs run by people with a genuine interest in the club."
Fair enough so maybe crook was the wrong word though there are plenty of crooks. But the "genuine interest in the club folk" are often equally problematic. Dave Whelan, Phil Gartside for example. They keep underwriting debt at the clubs they love to keep them afloat but long term they encumber them with unmanageable debt and the problems arise when they die or run out of cash.
Case in point: Blackburn. Jack Walker left a trust to keep the club afloat but with spiralling costs it was only a few years before that war chest was gone and Blackburn were suddenly on a precarious financial footing. Obviously money could be better filtered down the line but they need some kind of fiscal discipline.
61 Posted 15/10/2020 at 19:54:03
62 Posted 20/10/2020 at 16:58:14
63 Posted 20/10/2020 at 17:23:36
I think that will be the response of many supporters but in the cold light of day and the financial realities, how would the proposal affect Everton FC, particularly as they are going to be left behind by the super clubs. For the sake of Don - I'll do it for him - this is the real legacy of one Bill Kenwright!
64 Posted 20/10/2020 at 17:26:00
65 Posted 20/10/2020 at 17:29:22
This seems like a resurgence of the proposal Juventus mooted at the end of last year that the so called "big six" rejected. Selfish as they are, the gist seemed to be that they didn't like it because it would create a more even financial playing field for Bayern, Juve etc. Whereas they are enjoying their financial dominance presently. I think the timing of this rumor is interesting though as UEFA just announced that they will reduce prize money for Europe for the next five years due to covid. I suspect, this is a very unsubtle way of threatening UEFA in order for the Juve's of this world to get their cake and eat it.
66 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:27:07
First, they will want a smaller Premier League so they can participate in both competitions.
67 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:36:34
Frankly, I wish any clubs who want a breakaway European league to fuck off and go
68 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:40:20
This is posturing at its finest, they are expecting the FA to shit themselves and offer them what they want to stay in the prem.
If the FA had any balls it would call their bluff, tell them to fuck off and don't come back.
I'm convinced football would be better without them, restructure the whole of football without the greedy bastards.
69 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:40:53
Id hope the new European Premier League will be a closed shop, with no chance of EFC joining.
Id also hope the English Premier League would ban participation of clubs who take part in the European Premier League.
Wed then have a very exciting English Premier League, with no clear favourites...most of the media shitheads will of fucked off with the five clubs to the European Premier League too! Another bonus!
These five clubs fans would soon fuck them off (apart from the diehards and the idiots), once they became the shite of that league, with Barca and Real being the actual Big clubs instead of our media-driven-drivel elevating clubs like Man Utd and the shite to a position theyll never achieve!
Oh we can only hope...getting rid of these five clubs will be like cutting an illness from the English Premier League
70 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:43:46
If FIFA is involved it must be pukka, mustnt it?
71 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:45:44
A European league of sorts has been mooted for years. After the rebuttal last week, this can be no surprise.
I suggest Madrid and the RS form their own league, play each other every week.
At the end of their season the winner can be awarded a new prize.
I suggest they call it The Covid Cup.
72 Posted 20/10/2020 at 18:50:54
You are 8th or below in the league, with no chance of winning it, and have say, ten games left to play. You've got absolutely nothing to play for, as you know you can't win the league nor be relegated. You are, in effect playing dead rubbers just to see the season out. The fans would become bored shitless with this, but it wouldn't bother the hierarchy one little bit as the millions would keep on rolling in.
As others have said though, once you're gone, you're gone!! No chance of a return.
SO SEE YA!! ✋✋✋
73 Posted 20/10/2020 at 19:14:19
74 Posted 20/10/2020 at 19:26:30
75 Posted 20/10/2020 at 19:27:43
76 Posted 20/10/2020 at 19:38:08
The first signs it's not quite like the brochure would bring anguished howls of " FUCKIN' TOLD YA NOW WE CAN'T GO BACK BURN FENWAY/GLAZERS ET AL"
77 Posted 20/10/2020 at 19:49:56
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.