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Premier League Clubs Agree £50m Rescue Package for Leagues One and Two
Wednesday, 14th Oct 2020 18:13

Premier League clubs approved a rescue package for League One and Two clubs at a meeting earlier today where they also agreed that the Project Big Picture proposals will not be pursued.

Project Big Picture, instigated by Liverpool and Manchester United and supported by EFL chairman Rick Parry, proposed a restructuring of the game which would have seen, among other things, the Premier League cut to 18 clubs, the big six - the two clubs who have been discussing the plan plus Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City - having a greater say in the running of the game and the potential scrapping of the League Cup and the Community Shield.

The FA would have been gifted £100 million and the EFL an initial £250 million and 25 per cent of shared media rights going forward.

The top flight clubs met online earlier today to discuss the plans and subsequently issued a statement.

“All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA,” the statement reads.

“Further, Premier League shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.

“Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.

“This project has the full support of The FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, Government and, of course, the EFL.

“Also at today's meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of Covid-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season.

“League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.

“This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50 million on top of the £27.2 million solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2 million.

“Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs’ financial needs. This addresses Government concerns about lower league clubs' financial fragility.

“Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.”

Last month Parry, whose position as EFL chairman is in some jeopardy due to his involvement in Project Big Picture, said the clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two would require an injection of up to £250 million to get through the financial crisis created by the pandemic.

The £50 million package is 20 per cent of that total calculated on the basis that League One and Two clubs receive 13 per cent and seven per cent of the annual solidarity payments respectively.

The EFL released a statement in response to today's developments:
“The EFL will meet with all EFL clubs on Thursday to discuss the proposed financial support put forward today by the Premier League.

“The Premier League has written to the EFL in respect of a ‘much needed support package’ and provided details of an approved £50 million grant and loan facility for League One and Two clubs only.

“In addition, the Premier League has requested further discussions with the EFL regarding the nature of this proposal and also on future, potential loan funding for Championship Clubs in COVID-19 distress.

“The League will be not be commenting further until it has discussed the elements of the proposal with its membership.”

Regarding Project Big Picture the statement adds: “The EFL notes the position of the Premier League in respect of today’s discussions with its Clubs regarding the Project Big Picture proposals.

“As we have maintained across the past 72 hours, there is a significant issue facing the English footballing pyramid and therefore it is encouraging that there is an acknowledgment that a review of the current status quo is required, with a strategic plan to be developed to consider the future of the football.

“While by no means a finished product, Project Big Picture was developed to consider these same issues and address the challenges facing football from top to bottom.

“The EFL welcomes the opportunity to contribute to any wider debate with colleagues across the game as we seek to finally address impossible economic pressures and deliver on the objective of having a sustainable EFL in the long-term.”

Town owner Marcus Evans says the Blues could be £10 million down by the end of the season if the situation remains as it is with no fans able to attend games.

Photo: Matchday Images

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Saxonblue74 added 18:39 - Oct 14
The correct decision in my opinion. Football should not be further monopolized by the big 6. It could potentially stagnate the game, leaving clubs stranded in the lower leagues. There is a chance of Covid being a bit of a leveller within the game, let's not allow the fat cats to destroy the ambition of clubs and players outside the top 2 tiers.

shortmarine1969 added 18:39 - Oct 14
glad the thing has been shelved but the so called "bail out" is frankly pathetic , the solidarty payments is money the clubs would have got , but no longer will in future - so 50 Mil loaned = 1m & 41k per club , projected required 250 mil so not even a 3rd of what is required , last season the bottom single club in the prem got over 100 mil , and many clubs are spending excess of 50 mil on single players - it,s a joke , trouble was we all knew the punchline!

Nthsuffolkblue added 18:57 - Oct 14
A £50M rescue package split between 48 clubs. Or approximately £1M per club. This is less than half what top Premier League clubs are paying on a single transfer fee. If that is all the clubs need to stay afloat fair enough but it looks to me like it is a drop in the ocean.

TexacoCup added 19:12 - Oct 14
They may have shelved the 'big picture' project but the intent of the top clubs has not gone away - it's just a matter of time -

prebbs007 added 19:32 - Oct 14
£1m per club. That’s 3 weeks wages for Ozil. Are the premix league laughing at the football pyramid ? This seriously is a joke. Might as well tell them to poke it where the sun don’t shine ! Evans says we will lose £10m (he says we lose £5m every year anyway) so ITFC needs at least £5m from the disgustingly greedy big boys and other div 1 & 2 clubs will need their own amounts depending on their costs. Wake up and smell the coffee Liverpool Man U et al.

Guthrum added 19:37 - Oct 14
I like how Phil for this particular story has used that picture of vultures circling over Portman Road.

Chrisd added 20:00 - Oct 14
Great that the EPL have offered a deal, but is it enough for clubs to be able to survive? How far will £50m stretch across all L1 and 2 clubs? Probably hoping the Government will also make a contributIon to boost the fund.

ArnieM added 20:48 - Oct 14
Sold down the river yet again by these money grabbing arse holes in the PL. they don’t give a bloody stuff about clubs outside of the top six in the so called “ premier league”.

I bloody hate the PL and all it stands for.

Michael101 added 21:54 - Oct 14
It's a will you pay it back if you have no money in the first place. Yet another ###king farce.

Skip73 added 22:07 - Oct 14
I believe that Project Big Picture is the beginning of the end for the greedy Premier League. Civil War amongst the clubs beckons and I, for one, will celebrate when that disgusting League crumbles.

d77sgw added 23:08 - Oct 14
Big Picture was clearly about self-interest of the Big 6, but the fact remains it was the only suggestion that anyone has made that would have seen a major chunk of the Premier TV money go to EFL clubs. And removing Parachute Payments would have made a dramatic benefit to competition. The £50m is a sticking plaster over a gaping wound. Without serious reform of financing in the game the Premier League will become a closed shop. Just our luck that we happened to last be in it the season before the big money arrived. Difficult to see why the Premier clubs would ever vote for making the pyramid more competitive though - hence why it has to be part of something which has an element of self-interest for some of the bigger clubs. Yes, Big Picture was a stitch up to consolidate power for the Big 6 - but realistically we (and all other EFL clubs) were never going to challenge them. The impact for us would have been a far greater chance of at least getting to the top tier again. That seems more remote than ever now.

Europablue added 07:27 - Oct 15
There are genuinely some issues to address. Getting rid of the Charity shield was a really random thing to add to the proposals. Only two teams have to play one friendly for charity and that is a big enough problem for them to complain about? It sounds like they want to make room for their own lucrative friendly.
The league cup should either be for teams not in Europe or just for everyone except for the Premier League.

Dissboyitfc added 08:07 - Oct 15
I hate the premier league on many levels, the greed everything about it!

Rick Parry needs to go! ASAP

Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but who decides the top 6? Go back about 20 years and man city were in the third tier! The whole thing is disgusting and cannot be allowed to continue. Have some of those teams really forgot or is it a case of selective memory loss and "i am ok Jack, pass the ladder up"

The game belongs to the fans! whether armchair or in the stadium, no fans no money, are the greedy clubs so short sighted!

50 mil.... LOL! it was a joke, wasnt it?

I get angry just thinking about it!

ArnieM added 08:25 - Oct 15
Me too Dissboy. Sky has a lot to answer for and people still Subscribe to their extortionate packages, which just keeps fuelling this debacle in the game. They’ve killed the game and made the English First Division as it used to be ,a closed shop for the big boys. Even the rest of the so called PL clubs below the top 6 are also rans before a season even kicks off. Its actually boring , largely predictable and an exclusive club for the mega rich clubs.

MonkeyAlan added 08:31 - Oct 15
Glad the top 6 idea was dismissed (they will be back in the future with more ideas). 50 mil is frankly pathetic across 48 clubs. £600, 000 a week Bale is reportedly on, so just shows how little the PL clubs really care.

Michael101 added 09:23 - Oct 15
Eurpablue,yes the charity shield is only one game.but if they don't have to play it then they can go of to America or somewhere and earn mega bucks for some meaningless match.

Michael101 added 09:30 - Oct 15
Dissboy ,maybe they want to make there stadiums tourist sites like old Trafford is .f#ck the reel fans we just want people to spend there money in our shop then foxtrot Oscar back home.

afcfee added 10:06 - Oct 15
Still can't take my son for game coz a 99.3% false positive test according to Dominic raab. Oh well least a few vaccine developers will get rich and we can carry on supporting blm protests I take it

Europablue added 10:16 - Oct 15
afcfee sitting outside with masks on is too much of a risk compared to attending political protests having the support of the right elites.

Skip73 added 10:18 - Oct 15
£50m, and that overrated donkey Harry Maguire cost £80m!!

afcfee added 10:19 - Oct 15
93%* But still

afcfee added 10:20 - Oct 15
Europa blue exactly Coronavirus doesn't effect woke left protests.

afcfee added 10:20 - Oct 15
Not like we play after 10pm when covid is really active!

Razor added 10:31 - Oct 15
Crikey at least a bit of sense coming through at last but not nearly enough.

Glad the big picture has been booted in to touch and Rick Parry should follow immediately.

The money should be gifted and not given as loans which do of course have to be paid back (from where?) and money should be a lot more, at least double.

Bergholtblue added 13:18 - Oct 15
Whilst I am glad that Project Big Picture has been kicked into row Z, it is a pity that some of their ideas haven't been carried forward, for instance the scrapping of the League Cup, a competition that is never taken seriously by any team at any level. I also understand that a review of the parachute payments system was muted.

So from an offer of £250 million and 25% of TV money, we end up with a paltry £50m which will have to be paid back.

This is not just the big 6 that are looking after themselves but all the greedy fat cats in the PL are to blame.

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