The Premier League's Project Big Picture is being labeled as the biggest football shake-up in a generation. But what exactly is it?
Who's behind it?
Both clubs are under American ownership with Fenway Sports Group owning the Premier League champions and The Glazers owning the Red Devils.
When did it begin?
The plan was originally started in 2017 but has gained acceleration due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as many EFL clubs are struggling financially.
How does it aid the EFL?
The English Football League comprises of the three tiers of the English football pyramid below the top-flight (Premier League) - the EFL Championship, the EFL League 1, and the EFL League.
The EFL clubs will receive a £250 million rescue package upfront due to the ongoing crisis. The clubs will also be provided with 25% of future broadcast revenue from the Premier League, which is higher than the current 4% revenue sharing.
The Football Association will be given £100 million if Project Big Picture is successful. A yearly infrastructure funding package of 6% of Premier League gross revenues will also be re-distributed among the top four EFL divisions.
The Premier League will be reduced from 20 teams to 18, with four teams getting relegated and only two teams being promoted the year the change is implemented. Only two teams will be automatically relegated each season, with the club that finishes 16th in the Premier League replacing the sixth-placed Championship club in the EFL play-offs.
The League Cup (run by the EFL) and the Community Shield will be scrapped, allowing more time and space for European fixtures.
How does the power shift?
The rule of 14 will be terminated. Through the rule of 14, each member club is entitled to one vote. All rule changes and major commercial contracts require the support of at least two-thirds of the vote or 14 clubs out of 20 to be agreed upon.
Ending the rule of 14 means preferential voting rights will be handed over to the nine longest-serving premier league members, namely 'The Big 6' of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, as well as Everton, West Ham, and Southampton.
This will wrestle power away from the Premier League, giving the longest-serving clubs, and more significantly, the six big billionaire-owned clubs unprecedented authority, with just six votes required to pass any motion.
Several lower-tier clubs have welcomed these controversial proposals as the financial boost will help them stay afloat during these tough times.
As a whole, Project Big Picture seems to be more about reinforcing the status quo, a greater concentration of power, and reducing competitiveness in the Premier League. Project Big Picture will help the rich get richer rather than address the problems faced by smaller clubs.Published 14 Oct 2020, 19:40 IST