Premier League's 'big six' plan to reduce teams set to be 'REJECTED'

Premier League’s ‘big six’ radical plan to reduce number of teams from 20 to 18 set to be ‘REJECTED’ ahead of Thursday’s shareholders meeting… in latest blow to Manchester United and Liverpool’s hopes of restructuring top-flight

  • The controversial Project Big Picture plans were heavily slammed by all quarters
  • Liverpool and Man United were the driving forces behind Project Big Picture
  • One of the radical proposals was to reduce number of teams from 20 to 18
  • But Premier League clubs are expected to reject these contentious plans 

The Premier League’s ‘big six’ are set to be left frustrated regarding their plans to reduce the number of top-flight teams from 20 to 18.

In October, the Premier League descended into civil war following the controversial emergence of secret plans for a radical restructure hatched by both Liverpool and Manchester United – in what was dubbed Project Big Picture.

One of the dubious ideas put forward was restricting the number of teams in the Premier League, but these plans are expected to be snubbed ahead of Thursday’s shareholders meeting between all 20 clubs, according to the Sun.

Liverpool and Manchester United controversially hatched Project Big Picture plans last year

The top-flight’s leading clubs reportedly understand that there is no chance of these plans coming to fruition. 

Following the proposed revamps of UEFA competitions from 2024 onwards, the Premier League’s leading clubs have been looking for new ideas to make more money going forward through a restructure of the top-flight.

But the latest news of the rejection of reducing the number of teams in the Premier League will be the major talking point at Thursday’s crunch meeting.

After the highly-contentious Project Big Picture came to light last year, which was also backed by Rick Parry with plans to increase funding for the EFL, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters agreed for a ‘strategic review’ of the structure of the top-flight to be carried out. 

Liverpool, ran by John W Henry (left), had been looking to reduce league from 20 teams to 18

Man United and the Glazers (above) were working with Liverpool to push through the plans

Last November, Masters admitted he was open to all ideas but now on Thursday, the review will finally be the central topic, with clubs to discuss the ‘next steps’.

The Premier League’s ‘big six’ believe many of their ideas will be blocked by the rest of the top-flight.

One source told the Sun: ‘We were hoping that the impact of Project Big Picture would see a real momentum in favour of significant measures.

‘But it looks more likely that nothing will be proposed that the smaller 14 clubs would be upset about.

‘Of course, we will have to see the final details and that will not come for a few months. 

‘What we have been led to believe, though, is that we will not have too much to be happy about.’

When Project Big Picture hit the headlines last October, the plans were massively condemned from all quarters.

The Government condemned those involved for indulging in a ‘backroom deal that would create a closed shop at the top of the game’. 

Other changes that were put forward included to restrict relegation and give the Big Six unfettered power to make further changes, while the FA Cup and League Cup were to be abolished.

Richard Masters agreed for a ‘strategic review’ of the Premier League to be carried out after Project Big Picture came to light

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