remier League chief executive Richard Masters this morning insisted “change is coming” to English football and revealed the top-flight’s strategic review of the game would be completed by the end of March.
Greg Clarke, the chairman of the Football Association, added that “nothing is off the table” in the review, which comes in the wake of the failure of Project Big Picture.
Both Parry and Clarke supported PBP, the doomed plan championed by Liverpool and Manchester United for an 18-team Premier League to redistribute wealth to the EFL, but with power concentrated among just nine clubs.
In the wake of the proposal’s rejection last month, all 20 Premier League clubs have committed to a strategic review of the game, and Masters talked up the significance of the new plan.
“Change is coming, but change has to be delivered with the development of all clubs,” he said. “All stakeholders need to be involved. Project Big Picture came up in the middle of this, but all of our clubs support a strategic review.”
The review is set to address many of the issues raised by PBP, including the redistribution of wealth to bridge the chasm between the top tier and the rest and a revised calendar to accommodate a likely expanded Champions League from 2024.
“We know change is probably coming in Europe,” Masters added. “And I suspect if we don’t come up with a unifying plan, someone else will write it for us.”
Asked what elements of PBP could be included in the review, Clarke added: “Everything is on the table, nothing is off the table.
“All of the clubs will be interviewed. At the end of it, after consultation with the EFL and FA, there will be a recommendation which I suspect the clubs will vote on.
“The EFL and FA are involved. It’s not our review. It’s a Premier League review. Unless the Premier League sign up to a solution, there is no solution.
“They have to decide what to do and we have to work hard to make sure it works for the pyramid.”
Clarke also revealed he would oppose a breakaway European Super League in his roles as FA chairman and vice-president of FIFA.
“I would fight a European Super League at Fifa level, at UEFA level and at FA level and I’m sure I’d get the support of the FA board. Our job is the protect football not to protect a global elite,” he said.
The Premier League’s ongoing failure to reach a bailout agreement with the EFL was described as a “farce” by Julian Knight, who chairs the DCMS committee.
In a fierce line of questioning, the MP told Masters that 10 EFL clubs were in danger of failing to meet payroll this month and accused the Premier League of making a “pitiful” offer and trying to use the pandemic to leverage changes in the English game.
The Premier League have offered Leagues One and Two a £50million package and guaranteed that no Championship club will be allowed to go under due to the pandemic, but talks are ongoing.
“Those 10 clubs can come to us and talk to us immediately,” Masters said. “Obviously, we’d prefer that to be part of a holistic agreement. I don’t think our proposals are pitiful. There are no additional conditions attached to them at all.
“In practice, we can make money available now to clubs that need it.”