EPL Set To Reduce Teams To 18


English football giants Liverpool and Manchester United, have presented a proposal that will see the English top-flight league EPL cut down to 18 teams from the current 20. The blueprint for change was developed by John W Henry, Liverpool’s principal owner, with Old Trafford throwing its weight behind the idea. Glazer suggested that the radical manifesto is necessary to safeguard the existence of professional clubs outside the Premier League.

Several premier league club have disassociated themselves from the project stating that it could have a “damaging impact” on the game.  The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport released a statement on Sunday criticizing the proposals, and accusing the Premier League's biggest sides of trying to create a "closed shop".

The statement read: "We are surprised and disappointed that at a time of crisis when we have urged the top tiers of professional football to come together and finalize a deal to help lower league clubs, there appear to be backroom deals being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game.

"Sustainability, integrity, and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that may undermine them is deeply troubling. Fans must be in front of all our minds, and this shows why our fan-led review of football governance will be so critical."

The premier league also issued a statement which read thus "English football is the world's most-watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe, To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together. Both the Premier League and the FA support a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game, including its competition structures, calendar and overall financing particularly in light of the effects of Covid-19, Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute."

Under the proposal, the Premier League would hand over 250m Euro bailout and 25% of its annual income to the EFL.

The proposal tagged “Project Big Picture” includes;

* Premier League reduced to 18 clubs

* No EFL Cup or Community Shield

* Special status for nine longest-serving clubs- ‘Big Six’, Everton, West Ham, Southampton

* Only six of the nine longest-serving clubs need to vote for major change

* 250m Euro immediate compensation for EFL

* Figure also represents coronavirus financial bail-out

* Clubs who finishes 16th in the Premier League to replace sixth-place Championship club in EFL play-offs

* Premier League to commit 25 per cent of future revenue to EFL