What the UK Government says about the football revolution

The radical measures proposed to change English football, proposed by heavyweights such as Liverpool and Manchester United have elicited a frontal rejection, but the president of the Football League (EFL), Rick Parry, insists that he will carry out the plan. . And this despite the fact that the UK Government is also against it, as Oliver Dowden, Minister of Culture, expressed.

Dowden told the Sky News channel that he fears it is a “takeover of the big clubs” and warned that the British Government would intervene if nothing is done to alleviate the economic impact of Covid-19 in the lower leagues and tournaments. . “I am quite skeptical about this project,” Dowden said. “If we continue to have these secret agreements, we will have to analyze the underlying governance of football,” added the minister.

The proposal would give more power to the big clubs in the Premier League, reducing the championship participants from 20 to 18 teams for the 2022-23 season and eliminating the League Cup and Community Shield.

Plans also call for the Premier League to commit to providing 25% of tournament revenue to EFL clubs and a £ 250 million (€ 276 million) rescue fund to help the sector recover. of the impact of the crisis unleashed by COVID-19.

The Premier League, the British government and the Football Supporters' Association (FSA) – an association that represents fans – rushed Monday to reject the plan, published by the Telegraph newspaper on Sunday.

However, Parry, who was executive director of Liverpool and the Premier League, and has so far been the only public face of the project, insisted that the proposal is still valid.

“There will be a lot of discussion, but it's about coming up with a bold plan for the future and if that doesn't appeal to everyone, frankly, so be it,” he told reporters.

Much of the criticism has focused on the “special voting rights” that, under the new plan, the “Big Six” Premier League clubs would have: Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

However, although the increase in the share of power for the ‘Big Six’ will never have majority support, many other ideas of the project could find support.

“Parts of the proposal require negotiation, but there are too many good things in this plan to rule them out,” said former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, now a commentator on Sky Sports and co-owner of the League Two club Salford City (Third Division).

It is unlikely that clubs in the lower ranks will oppose the proposal for a one-time £ 250 million rescue fund for EFL teams and that 25% of Premier League income will be distributed among the members. of that body, compared to 4% today.

The plans also want to end the payments, for three seasons, to the teams that descend from the Premier League, criticized for distorting the competition in the English Second Division.