Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher had their say on Project Big Picture on Monday Night Football.
The controversial plans, driven predominantly by Liverpool and Manchester United, would have seen a radical shake-up of English football.
The proposal – which was quashed “unanimously” by the Premier League clubs – included an 18-team Premier League, an EFL bailout and – most significantly – increased power to the top six. The full list of plans can be found here.
The Sky Sports pundits understand the furore that followed the leaked document, but believe it was largely positive, both in its content and the conversations it has led to.
Neville kicked things off…
“For me, Project Big Picture is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to any of the 72 clubs in the EFL, and it’s not acceptable to any of the 14 clubs in the Premier League. The idea that the most established clubs, the top six, run English football – it’s unpalatable. It’s not a goer. No-one can accept that. You can put English football in the grasp of what would be Roman Abramovich, Daniel Levy, the Glazer Family, J. W. Henry and so on. It’s never going to happen. That’s the one that will not get Project Big Picture through.
“Number Two, what that means to me is that the Premier League do accept that the EFL do need a £250 million bailout, but actually, they’re saying that if you don’t accept Big Picture, you’re not going to get your £250 million. But at least there is an acceptance.
“Dropping parachute payments, I’m happy with. Eighteen clubs, I haven’t got that big a problem with. The fairer distribution of the wealth in the game, by the money from the two clubs and the parachute payments going to the EFL, I’m massively supportive of because, along with the salary cap, I think it makes most EFL clubs sustainable. There’s no need to drop the Community Shield – fit it in on a Wednesday, fit it in on a Thursday like they do with the Super Cup. It raises money for charity, for goodness sake. Don’t get rid of it, it’s silly. Just compromise on that point.
“The Carabao Cup, yeah I think it could be reshaped. Why couldn’t it be something that’s part in preseason, part in the first few weeks of the season? To me it’s not a competition that needs to be lost because ultimately I think you can do different things with it.
“For me, Project Big Picture, when it came forward, having been part of the group that I was part of, which was asking for an independent regulator, I welcomed Project Big Picture coming forward. Not because I supported it, but because there was an acceptance from clubs and from the EFL and the FA – we’ll come onto the FA in a minute, Greg Clarke who’s been part of this all the way through and is now trying to distance himself from it, the worst of the lot, he’s neither pleasing one side or the other.
“If the FA chairman,…