Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony believes the debate surrounding ‘Project Big Picture’ will merely delay clubs in the English Football League getting the financial help they so desperately need.
The radical reform plans being spearheaded by Liverpool and Manchester United, as reported by The Telegraph, would see the EFL get an immediate cash boost of £250million to help clubs through the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also proposed that 25 per cent of the annual revenue generated by the Premier League goes to the Football League pyramid.
But the caveat to this would be the ‘Big Six’ teams wielding far greater power, including the ability to veto club takeover and dominate voting procedures.
MacAnthony says there is no way the proposals will go through in their current form, and believes the discussion around ‘Project Big Picture’ has taken focus away from the EFL’s dire need for financial assistance.
“We don’t have time for this to happen,” the Peterborough chairman told White and Jordan on talkSPORT. “In the short term, our league is in financial trouble.
“I don’t want to hear from [culture secretary] Oliver Dowden again until he’s writing a cheque; he’s talking about helping us out but he’s not helping either.
“I’m looking at this deal and I’m saying, ‘if this deal was in place today and it involved no B-teams in the Football League, no pyramid promotion changes, no loan changes’, then everyone at the EFL would sign up for it.
“On the face of it with the money, the difference you would get in League One or the Championship, every single owner in the EFL would sign up for it.
“The reality is it’s not going to happen because of the vote rule in the Premier League.
“For me, it’s a massive distraction because we need £250million in the EFL and we needed it yesterday.
“This now is going to become a distraction and it’s going to be another month or two months. Clubs are going to go under before the next discussions happen.”
EFL chairman Rick Parry also joined talkSPORT on Monday and publicly backed the proposals being put forward.
He believes ‘Project Big Picture’ is a solution to a problem that has existed for much longer than a couple of months and which was not, as many believe, caused by a health pandemic.
“It’s a model that is broken and frankly it was broken pre-COVID,” Parry told White and Jordan.
“There’s an unbridgeable gulf between the Championship and the Premier League, and there are inequalities that parachute payments create and the crazy behaviours that arise in the Championship as a result, with 107 per cent of turnover being spent on wages and £400m of owner funding required every year.
“The struggles faced by League One and League Two clubs where again there is a lot of owner funding required, they have now taken steps to behave responsibly by introducing salary caps which is a step in the right direction – so there’s a whole series of short-term and long-term issues that need to be resolved.
“From our perspective, what ‘Big Picture’ does is address literally every single one of those inequalities.
“Anybody else could have come up with a plan, the Premier League could have come up with a plan at any stage over the last 25 years; the fact two of our leading clubs have come up with a plan, I really don’t think it’s to be criticised and do think it’s to be applauded.”
Published at Mon, 12 Oct 2020 14:09:07 +0000