Otago Daily Times

Plans for revised Premier League not dead



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

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Rick Parry

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