HomeNews‘Project Big Picture is a sugar-coated cyanide pill’ – FSA issues call to arms over ‘insatiable greed’ of Premier League’s billionaire owners
‘Project Big Picture is a sugar-coated cyanide pill’ – FSA issues call to arms over ‘insatiable greed’ of Premier League’s billionaire owners
October 14, 2020
The Football Supporters’ Association has sounded an urgent alarm against Project Big Picture, saying the plan to reform English football is a “sugar-coated cyanide pill”.
As part of the proposal, the EFL would be given a £250 million ($326m) bailout and The Football Association would receive a one-off £100m ($130m) payment as well.
However, in exchange, the Premier League’s nine longest-serving teams would be granted special voting status and with a two-thirds threshold required to approve any proposal, the division’s ‘big six’ – Liverpool, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham – would have the power to unilaterally make changes.
“Football is in crisis, many clubs desperately need financial support to help them survive, and the game’s wealth has to be shared more fairly – but the ‘Project Big Picture’ plans are not the answer and they would be an absolute disaster for our game,” the FSA said in a statement.
“The insatiable greed of a small handful of billionaire owners cannot be allowed to determine the structure of football in this country.”
There are several other changes that would come should Project Big Picture go through, including a reduction of the Premier League from 20 teams to 18, and the elimination of the Community Shield and League Cup.
The FSA has even suggested that the £250m bailout for the EFL may not go through should the proposal be enacted, saying the elimination of Premier League matches that would result from a reduction of clubs and the abolition of the League Cup could make TV revenue go down.
“While Project Big Picture dangles an alleged £250m ‘rescue fund’ in front of clubs to cover lost revenues during the 2019-20 season they might actually be a sugar-coated cyanide pill,” the statement continued.
“Apparently ‘money will be advanced to the EFL from increased future revenues.’ Is there a guarantee that the money will even materialise? The entire package is based on projected revenues which are, in turn, based on the current media deal. Where is the guarantee that will happen?”
The FSA concluded by saying they would be lobbying against the proposal to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, all the relevant football authorities and the FA Council, while urging an “alternative financial package” be considered as the clock ticks on EFL teams who are on the brink of financial disaster.
“Days or weeks means EFL clubs being tempted by the sugar-coated cyanide pill offered up by billionaire owners who do not understand or care about our football culture,” the statement said.