Liverpool and Manchester United believe they will get what they want – even after Project Big Picture was kicked out.
The Premier League is now committed to a full strategic review on whether to reduce the number of clubs, the fixture list, share of TV cash and is also offering a £50m bail out to the EFL.
Even though Project Big Picture was dismissed and is now dead in the water, the Big Six have effectively got what they wanted and have now sparked serious negotiations and discussions among the 20 top flight clubs.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “This review was underway but now we have reemphasised it, put a new timescale on it. But there’s been no talk at today’s meeting about a potential breakaway.
“Part of the review will be the size of the league. The Premier League is a fantastic institution. It has been an interesting few days and uncertainty is always very dangerous and we hope we have taken away that uncertainty.”
Liverpool and United are quietly confident they will be able to drive some degree of change which is all they ever wanted and are also determined to back under-fire EFL chairman Rick Parry.
Other Premier League clubs are calling for Parry to be axed after his role in the secret talks behind the Project Big Picture which was designed to reduced the top flight to 18 clubs, give the big clubs more say and extra voting rights.
Masters was reluctant to talk about Parry directly but added: “We have a constructive relationship with the EFL and we have to maintain the constructive relations.”
Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Everton all spoke up against the secret plans and how they emerged with anger at all of the Big Six for going behind their backs.
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Project Big Picture was rejected out of hand but there is now a commitment to hold further discussions plus also guarantee cash for the EFL and undertaking to ensure that no League One and Two club goes out of business.
Masters also reiterated his call to get fans back into stadiums. He added: “We are talking to the Government, we have constructive discussions with the Government but we did see this week a fairly full London Palladium.”
Meanwhile, Gary Neville will head up a stellar list of names – also including Andy Burnham MP, former FA executive David Davies and chairman David Bernstein – who will present their own plans for football on Thursday to drive change.
They will put forward the Saving The Beautiful Game: A Manifesto For Change plan on Thursday.
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