Man U & Liverpool come up with new plan to “rescue football”

By Tony Attwood

This story broke in the Daily Telegraph and then was re-run by Football.London.  Both “outlets” claim the plan has been proposed by Manchester United and Liverpool FC.  In essence it says that

1: The Premier League should have fewer clubs

The Premier League could be reduced to 18 teams from the current 20, thus reducing the games to 34 per season.

2:  The Premier League should help the EFL

A £250m rescue package to the EFL should be given to help see them through the coronavirus crisis. This is obviously a one-off appeal.

3. Cutting competitions

The League Cup and Community Shield would both be scrapped, although generously the PL suggests the League Cup could continue but without the clubs that are playing in Europe.

4.  A regular payment to all the EFL clubs

This is pitched at 25% of the Premier League’s turnover.  Presumably the EFL would sort out how this is divided up.  But there would be none of the current parachute payments.

5.  Only the nine clubs that have the longest spells in the Premier League can vote of changes

That would be Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Southampton and West Ham United.

What this means is that if another extremely rich person comes along and buys a club, and throws money at it, such as happened at Manchester City and Chelsea, he or she would not then “buy” their way onto the elite board.   This looks like another plan set up to stop the Saudi Arabia take over of Newcastle.

That was stopped last time largely by suggesting Saudi Arabia was involved in copyright breaches of PL games. However as we revealed yesterday, the people behind PSG and BeIN (who led the copyright objections to the Newcastle takeover), have themselves been accused of serious corruption and are in the midst of a trial in Switzerland.

One might say, beware who you believe is clean and honest.

6.   Voting

In all cases, six votes would be needed to make changes to the Premier League’s constitution.  So five of the “big six” could outvote the “little three”.

7. Relegation

At the end of each season two clubs would be relegated while the club finishing 16th would join the Championship play-offs with a chance to get back into the Premier League.

This means that if one of the “permanent members” had an extremely bad season, or was found guilty of corruption and deducted points, they could ultimately be relegated but would still have control over how the Premier League worked.

8.  The Premier League season would start later.

The idea here is that the PL clubs could play in international pre-season friendly competitions over a greater period of time and thus make more money.

9.   New loan arrangements.

This would mean that Premier League clubs could loan 15 players out to other English clubs outside the Premier League at any one time, thus buying up ever more talented youngsters while stopping them going to Germany.

10.  An independent women’s league

The aim would be that the league would not be part of the Premier League or the FA although the women’s teams could still be financed by the Premier League clubs.

What’s the point?

At the heart of this is a new model of distribution for TV revenue in the Premier League, although the proposals suggest that there would be no greater share for the top six and the main aim is to eliminate the huge gap in earnings between the Premier League and the EFL.

But this approach ignores some of the major issues that are affecting the game at the moment.


There is nothing about refereeing here, despite the scandal that now surrounds PGMO.  They have previously claimed that with VAR they were getting approach 100% of decisions right, and yet serious research in the lock down era, has shown just how much the PGMO referees have been affected by the crowd.

What’s more the PGMO has taken refereeing in a totally different direction from other Leagues, with fewer referees, and an absolute no-talk policy with no referees facing the media.  This would be an opportunity to change this stranglehold but it seems it is not being taken.

Championship clubs going into mega-debt

This is one of the biggest problems facing the game.  The windfall profit to Championship clubs from going into the Premier League is so great at the moment because of the size of the TV deal, that some clubs seem willing to risk everything to get that reward.  Their borrowings seem to reach higher and higher levels each year, and then if promotion does not come they tumble.

There is nothing here to stop that, and seemingly only a salary cap would bring that situation to an end.  But there is no suggestion of that.

However if the PL did start to make changes of its own as suggested above they would certainly be able to tell the Championship that it had to introduce a salary cap.  Thus the rewards to players would be there if they reached the Premier League – and their salaries would decline again if they dropped out.

Who adjudicates when something goes wrong?

What happens if a club feels that something is going wrong – that they have been unfairly treated over a money issue for example?  Who oversees appeals against decisions?  Is all this kept “within house”?  By removing itself from the mainstream of football in the UK, it seems that is one of the key points – football will always judge football.

In which case, don’t expect any revelations of corruption ever to be dealt with.



8 Replies to “Man U & Liverpool come up with new plan to “rescue football””

  1. So basically “lets concentrate more power into fewer hands” and take away any accountability for that control.

    I cannot see that improving the game in this country for the majority of clubs.

    Why dont they just cut the EPL to the 10 clubs they want and then charge £50 per game PPV and make all the stadia into gigantic restaurants for corporate clients with an entrance fee of £2k. Now there is a money making option

    Sorry if that is too cynical

  2. Liverpool and Utd, doesn’t sound a recipe for the good of the game, does it?
    As for the PGMOL, if those two clubs are driving this, it will be a case of carry on (cheating) as you were.

  3. And, none of this addresses the problem of too many matches for the players, especially, if the time opened up by the reduction of league matches and the elimination of the two pseudo-cups were replaced with more matches and nothing were done about the silly friendlies that populate the schedule right now.

  4. Well if asked for my opinion , I’ll propose that only the EPL/ (Old)First Division since 1990 be offered the places in the table . This would mean that Arsenal,Liverpool,Leeds, Man United , Blackburn Rovers , Chelsea , Man.City and Leicester , are the only ones.
    As Blackburn no longer feature , their place can be passed on to the first division’s second longest team. Everton.

    Why are teams that have not won the top League prize for over 60 years to be considered ? So out goes Spurs , West Ham and Southampton – who regularly yo yo in and out of the division !

    Nothing personal , but why add mediocre teams to guide the future of the English game ?

  5. Every single point is there to help other clubs swallowing No. 6 (more like No. 2!). Liverpool and Man United want to become respective Real and Barcelona of England comparing to other clubs (I guess that would leave us with…Atletico Madrid?).

    Also, creators of this solution have been taking notes from Bayernliga. Sorry, I meant, Bundesliga. Germany have 18 clubs, 15 clubs are safe, two clubs are automatically relegated while 16th-placed team plays a two-legged relegation play-off against the third-placed team from 2nd Bundesliga. I can’t recall when was the last time a team from 2nd Bundesliga prevailed in those ties.

    Whilst I’m all for scrapping League Cup, I don’t think scrapping Community Shield is a good idea. It should be renamed to English Supercup or something like that and that game should count as official.

  6. At last there are some complaints about the North / South divide when Boris puts his controls in for the spread of Corvid.
    Now is the time for the real north / south issue of the select PGMOL disease that has ruined football for clubs in the lower half of the English map to be brought to the media Headlines.

  7. The whole proposal is greed and power driven without any consideration of the supporter.

    The TV sale off that has robbed the school going kids of live Premier League football will be dwarfed by this rich mans takeover of the once beautiful game.

    Nothing that does not have a supporters group should be allowed to take over football. The supporters should show their power by a boycott of TV and live games for a fortnight.

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