There have been several articles written about the ‘Power Grab’ by the ‘Big Six’ of English football. If it were to come to fruition many are fearful for the very future of the national game. One of the best opinion pieces we have seen here at Talking Bull is from Martin Samuel.
Here are some extracts:
Rick Parry helped destroy the fabric of English football once, and now he’s going for it again.
His alliance with Manchester United, Liverpool any fellow travellers within the Big Six is the most flagrant, abusive and ruinous power grab the domestic game has seen since the formation of the Premier League with Parry as its chief executive close to 30 years ago. That put the power in the hands of 20 clubs.
Now Parry and the elite want this narrowed down to a cabal of six. They are promising all kinds of bungs and sweeteners to get their way, painting themselves as the saviours of the game, the friends of the little folk, but do not believe a single word of it.
This is about six clubs controlling the wealth and seizing the power, right down to deciding who gets into their competition. This is about closed shop protectionism that will end the Premier League as a vibrant competition. This is about getting your round in with another man’s money.
This is, in essence, every rotten, contemptuous, self-serving, destructive idea the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have come up with across the last two decades, repurposed as a rescue package.
Project Big Picture? Far from saving our game, all it would do is reduce. Reduce what makes football fun. Reduce its unpredictability, reduce the excitement, reduce the chances for Wolves or Leicester or Aston Villa. Reduce the hope of a change of ownership at Newcastle. Reduce your chances of promotion. Reduce your hopes of success if you get there. Reduce, reduce, reduce.
Of course Parry supports it. He has no idea how to address the financial crisis in the EFL, so will cling to any lifebelt tossed his way. If it means selling out the League Cup, the Community Shield, 14 current Premier League clubs and any in the Championship with ambition, he’ll do it.
Just as he was in 1992 when, as chief executive of the fledgling Premier League, he helped alter a system that awarded 50 per cent of broadcast revenue to clubs outside the top tier — the second tier got 25 per cent, those below 12.5 per cent each — to one that benefited a small group and placed football on its road to ruin.
Only fools could not see through this, but in many ways, it is almost a positive. Project Big Picture is so transparent in its aims, so repulsively skewed towards the richest, so disgustedly naked in its protectionism that the howl of rejection and outrage should be deafening.
Under the guise of improving the economic outlook for all, it delivers the bulk of its money into the greasy mitts of an over-privileged, over-entitled elite. It fixes the game in favour of six clubs, while shifting the financial burden to the 14 straining every sinew to remain competitive.
It is a disgrace, the opposite of a solution, and deserves a pauper’s grave.
Should you wish to read the whole article it can be found here:
In response to the proposal, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman issued the following:
“It’s clear the proposal does not command support throughout the Premier League and it is exactly this type of back room dealing that undermines trust in football’s governance. In terms of support for clubs we have been given assurances by the PL and EFL that they have no intention of letting any EFL club go bust due to COVID-19 and we know they have the means to prevent that from happening within existing mechanisms.
“We strongly urge the PL and EFL to continue to work constructively to come up with a deal that comes up with a package of support for the whole football family.”