Just when you think they can’t sink any lower, Liverpool and Manchester United are behind a plan to move total control of the Premier League into the hands of a small number of clubs.
The sheer audacity of this shameful grab for control in the middle of a pandemic is breathtaking.
A bit like chopping your right hand off to make you forget about a minor cut on your left, this Liverpool and Manchester United plan makes the £15 pay per view initiative feel like a totally insignificant issue.
At the minute, 14 Premier League clubs need to approve any major change. However, that would all come to an end if Liverpool and Manchester United succeed with this shameful plan.
Taking advantage of the virus situation and the massive extra financial problems it has brought to football, the plan would see £250m initially made available to financially support the 72 EFL clubs, with then in future a quarter of Premier League and EFL combined revenues (referring to TV deals presumably) going to EFL clubs.
BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT…
This act of amazing ‘generosity’ will only happen, if the 20 current Premier League clubs collectively agree to vote to tear up current rules and hand over power to a small number of (predictable) clubs.
Seemingly so that it can include Manchester City, the new rules would see the nine clubs who have been in the Premier League for the longest, dictate its running in every respect, with ‘special status’ bestowed on them. With only six of these nine clubs needing to agree on any major changes to the Premier League, even if the majority of clubs were against them.
The nine longest standing (in no particular order) in the top tier are Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal. With the three patsies to make up the nine being Southampton, West Ham and Everton.
It is like putting lipstick on a pig, the way they are using this charade to try and dress it up as anything but the ‘big six’ controlling it all.
Why don’t they just say that?
Why not say we six clubs will decide everything from now on, or else we will happily see as many of the 72 EFL clubs go bust as possible?
Their plan is so transparent, though nothing would you surprise you, including if the likes of Southampton, Everton and West Ham willing to be the patsies to help push it through, in return for this supposed ‘special status’ for themselves.
It is so laughable, especially when you consider West Ham were in the Championship as recently as 2011/12, Southampton were in the third tier in 2010/11, whilst Man City were third tier as recently as 1998/99.
That is all a bit of a red herring anyway because if there is an end to one club one vote, that sweeps away totally any remaining pretence of the Premier League as a credible and democratic organisation.
The Telegraph point out exactly why the ‘big six’ want these changes to happen and how they would use this absolute power in their own favour.
By cutting the Premier League down from 20 to 18 clubs and getting rid of the League Cup, the powerful clubs would be free to play more games in the expanded Champions League, that is anticipated from the 2024/25 season onwards.
Less games would also see them look to move the start of the season back to late August to allow them to play more lucrative friendlies around the world.
There would be new rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic, including proposals that base one portion on performance over three years in the league.
Huge changes to the loan system, allowing clubs to have 15 players out on loan domestically at any one time and up to four at a single club in England.
Then of particular note no doubt for Newcastle United fans, the brave new world of the Premier League would see the clubs in control, having the power to veto any takeover of a Premier League club that they don’t want to happen. Cynical NUFC supporters would say that we have already seen that happen these past months…
In an apparent attempt to buy-off fans as well, the proposals include: ‘A fan charter including capping of away tickets at £20, away travel subsidised, a focus on a return to safe standing, a minimum away allocation of eight per cent capacity.’
The bottom line is that Liverpool and Manchester United, along with the other usual suspects, would be buying off everybody, in return for total power forever.
It is truly horrendous, though not surprising.
Once they have total control, what would then stop them some way down the line from going back on any of their promises, if they only need their own six votes to push anything through. Even if certain things were set in stone as not being able to change, they could still get round it by in the future introducing other changes / initiatives that would see them get their intended end result.
You may think that surely they could never get the 14 votes to bring this about, when the ‘rest’ would be left in a far weaker position and no say on anything of importance. However, the ‘big six’ saw that overseas TV money was the growth area and forced through changes to that, so instead of an equal share for all 20 clubs, how much you get is now partly based on where you finish in the Premier League. Why did clubs who know almost certainly they will finish bottom half most seasons, vote for themselves to get less money? I have no idea BUT the powerful clubs got them to vote it through with at least 14 of the 20 supporting it.