The big clubs want to take power: The giants’ extreme audacity
It brews up a gigantic battle over the future of English football. It is not generosity, but greed that lies behind how Liverpool and Manchester United are leading the fight for change.
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Today’s cash flow in English football is not optimal at all. The gap in economic reality between the Premier League and the rest of the clubs is huge. Therefore, one should intuitively believe that a proposal to smooth out parts of the billion cake sounds sensible. And if the real intention behind Manchester United and Liverpool’s idea of rethinking at the system level had been a real redistribution of power and benefits on the less well-off premises, there would have been reason to applaud.
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However, the idea behind the concept “Project Big Picture”, which has struck like a bomb in the English football debate in recent days, appears so far as a miserable camouflaged attempt to strengthen the top clubs’ own interests.
Before we get there: What is the project really about? What speaks for and against the most intrusive proposal since the Premier League saw the light of day in 1992?
It was the newspaper Daily Telegraph that revealed what Manchester United and Liverpool have allegedly worked on over time, and which other giant comrades should also be positive about. It is all sold as an idea in the sign of charity and solidarity, based on the fact that something must be done about the most real class differences.
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With them on the team, the big clubs have a man named Rick Parry, who has previously been central in the Premier League organization, and who now manages the English Football League (EFL). The latter includes Championship, League One and League Two, ie the team that needs help.
“Project Big Picture” will give these clubs if it all becomes something of. We are talking about a rescue package of between 2.5 and 3 billion kroner to the EFL system, in addition to a billion transfer to the English Football Association (FA). Then the king’s idea is that a quarter of the income that comes from the huge TV interest goes to the clubs down in the system, while there will be an end to today’s parachutes to facilitate the transition from the Premier League to the Championship in the event of relegation.
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A slimmer Premier League with just 18 clubs, an end to the League Cup and Community Shield, changes to the playoff system and price restrictions for away tickets are other key words for the plans. In what is expected to be a big PR battle before the final decision, and where the corona effect of course also comes into play, there is the possibility of saving those who struggle the most an argument that will probably be sold heavily on the plus side.
But if you look more closely at the details of what is actually proposed here, the Santa hat quickly disappears from the director offices in Manchester and Liverpool. This is about securing oneself as much power as possible. The consequence of a system that is proposed will increase the differences between the very biggest and the rest of the Premier League, and does not exclusively focus on the altruism that is sought to create an impression of.
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It is very important to move away from the principle that 14 Premier League clubs are required to get through substantial proposals, which, for example, was central in the negotiations on how the restart after the corona should take place. Instead, according to the plan, power will be consolidated among the largest, or with so-called “long-term shareholders”, in terms of influence when voting on major issues. Yes or no to a new potential owner at a competing club, is an example of a topic where the six with the most to protect may have major vested interests in increased voting power.
Here we are talking about the big six, ie Liverpool, two Manchester clubs and three from the capital. In addition, Everton, Southampton and West Ham are also supposed to be given some form of position in the heat. But voting rules within the elite dictate that the very largest will in any case sit with the bay and both ends, as six votes can ensure an outcome, for example on principles for individual income opportunities.
If one is to believe the reactions in England so far, there is little indication that the proposal will get the necessary majority, as the other PL clubs than the very largest are unlikely to join. But enormous efforts are expected to be invested in PR work in the future, and a heavy argument will be the reality that there are many downstream people who are struggling. But is the solution to allowing the very rich to buy even more control?
Here it is worth remembering how the Football Leaks revealed secret plans for a European Super League just a couple of years ago. It did not work, and perhaps this internal English variant will also be scrapped. But the fact that the richest of the rich continue to look for methods to get even more for themselves, unfortunately follows as a logical consequence of how extremely profit-oriented the football industry has become.
And no matter how kind you try to appear, it’s pretty disgraceful to bet that you want to help some poor charmer out of a disability, when it shines through that your own power and control is the real issue at stake.
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