Sports Report: Liverpool, United lead charge for radical English football reforms

02:25  12 october  2020
02:25  12 october  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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Radical proposals for the reform of English football could have a "damaging impact" on the game, says the Premier League. Under the proposals, led by Liverpool and Manchester United , the English top flight would be cut to 18 teams.

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly spearheading a project to give English football its A statement read: “We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this A statement read: “The English Football League today confirms that it has been working on an

Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United are leading the charge for a series of profound and wide-scale changes to English football, reports BBC Sport's Simon Stone.

Jonathan Ross et al. wearing costumes © Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Among the reforms would be a £250-million bailout for the Football League and its 72 clubs, which would address massive financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Proposals also include the reduction of the Premier League from 20 teams to 18, while both the League Cup in its present form and the annual Community Shield match would be eliminated.

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Manchester United and Liverpool are backing a radical plan led by the EFL to overhaul English football , sources have confirmed to ESPN. The plan, first reported in the Telegraph, has been called "Project Big Picture" and would see an overhaul of the finances of the Premier League and the EFL.

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It's believed that EFL chairman Rick Parry supports the plans, according to Stone.

The Premier League criticized the reported proposals Sunday in a statement, per The Independent's Miguel Delaney.

"In the Premier League's view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game, and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support," the league said.

Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, are understood to have first championed the reforms with additional contributions from United co-chairman Joel Glazer, per Stone. The other members of England's "big six" - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur - are all expected to support the changes.

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An annual £250-million payment distributed among the lower leagues would amount to 25% of the Premier League's annual income and help shrink the financial chasm between the top flight and the divisions below it. A £100-million "gift" would also be made available for the Football Association.

No dates are set for voting on the proposals, though it's understood the potential changes could be put in place for the 2022-23 season.

Reducing the Premier League to 18 clubs would see four teams relegated directly, with two Championship sides automatically promoted. Additionally, the 16th-place top-flight side would compete with the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place second-tier teams in a playoff.

Proposals would also see the Premier League's voting system change from one that requires the support of no fewer than 14 clubs to approve reforms.

In addition to the "big six" teams, it's planned that longtime top-flight mainstays Everton, Southampton, and West Ham would receive special status. As a result, a vote on any proposal would only need the support of six of the aforementioned nine clubs in order to pass.

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