Premier League clubs have agreed to reject the controversial ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals, which will not be endorsed by the league or The FA.
The news comes just days after the plans were first announced, with the backing of Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as the EFL. Previously, the EFL had also claimed that clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two were behind the proposals.
The Premier League, however, now says its shareholders have agreed to ‘work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football.’
It has also announced a new funding package, consisting of grants and interest-free loans, to League One and League Two clubs, totalling £50 million. According to the Premier League, that is on top of the £27.2million solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two in 2020. Meanwhile, discussions will also continue on financial support to Championship clubs.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “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 [the] 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.”
In response, the EFL said in a statement that a review into the status quo, and a strategic plan for the future of the game was ‘encouraging’. It said: “While by no means a finished product, Project Big Picture was developed to consider these same issues and address the challenges facing football from top to bottom.
“The EFL welcomes the opportunity to contribute to any wider debate with colleagues across the game as we seek to finally address impossible economic pressures and deliver on the objective of having a sustainable EFL in the long-term.”