Otago Daily Times

Plans for re­vised Pre­mier League not dead

FOOT­BALL

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MANCH­ESTER: Rad­i­cal pro­pos­als to change English foot­ball backed by heavy­weights Liver­pool and Manch­ester United have been met with swift crit­i­cism but Foot­ball League (EFL) chair­man Rick Parry in­sists he will push for­ward with the plan.

The pro­pos­als would give more power to the big English Pre­mier League clubs, re­duc­ing it from 20 teams to 18 for the 2022­23 sea­son and scrap­ping the League Cup and Com­mu­nity Shield.

The plans would also mean the Pre­mier League com­mit­ting to pro­vide 25% of the league’s rev­enue to EFL clubs and a £250 mil­lion ($NZ491 mil­lion) res­cue fund to help with the im­me­di­ate im­pact of the Covid­19 cri­sis.

The Pre­mier League, the UK Gov­ern­ment and the Foot­ball Sup­port­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion were quick out of the blocks to con­demn the plan, which was leaked to the Tele­graph on Sun­day.

But for­mer Liver­pool and Pre­mier League CEO Parry, who has so far been the only pub­lic face of the plan, in­sisted the pro­pos­als were by no means dead in the wa­ter.

‘‘Clearly there will be a huge amount of de­bate but this is about com­ing up with a bold plan for the fu­ture and if that doesn’t please ev­ery­body, frankly, so be it,’’ he said.

Much of the crit­i­cism has been fo­cused on the ‘‘spe­cial vot­ing rights’’ that would be given to the ‘‘Big Six’’ Pre­mier League clubs — Liver­pool, Manch­ester United, Manch­ester City, Chelsea, Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and Arse­nal.

UK Cul­ture Min­is­ter Oliver

Dow­den, who is re­spon­si­ble for sport, said he feared the plans were a power grab by the big clubs and warned of a re­view of gov­er­nance of the game if no move was made for Covid­19 re­lief for the lower leagues.

‘‘They should be get­ting to­gether to sort the sport out and I am afraid that if we keep hav­ing these back­room deals . . . we will have to look again at the un­der­ly­ing gov­er­nance of foot­ball,’’ Dow­den told Sky News.

He said the Gov­ern­ment was elected in 2019 with a man­i­festo com­mit­ment to a ‘‘fan­led re­view’’ of foot­ball gov­er­nance. — Reuters

 ??  ?? Rick Parry
Rick Parry

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