EFL clubs are split on merits of Project Big Picture as they remain desperate for more detail amid the financial crisis that could see seven clubs go bust
- EFL clubs are split on the merits of the controversial Project Big Picture
- They also want additional detail given the immediacy of their financial crisis
- Concerns are there over EFL chairman Rick Parry’s lack of communication
EFL clubs are split on the merits of the controversial Project Big Picture — and were desperate on Monday night for additional detail given the immediacy of their financial crisis.
Sources bemoaned the furore surrounding Premier League special voting rights and restructuring of the pyramid as a sideshow amid the crippling mess in their three divisions.
Concerns have been raised over EFL chairman Rick Parry’s involvement and lack of communication, while there are significant differences of opinion on the make-up of the deal.
EFL clubs are split on the merits of the controversial Project Big Picture and want more detail
The threat of more than five clubs falling into administration over the coming weeks remains.
There have been vocal supporters of Parry’s plans, devised with Liverpool and Manchester United. Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley and Dale Vince at Forest Green have backed the reforms, although some of their contemporaries in Leagues One and Two are less enthused.
The Championship is also split, with one executive saying: ‘We are in a beggars can’t be choosers situation. What do we do? Bow gracefully to bigger clubs?
Concerns are raised over EFL chairman Rick Parry’s involvement and lack of communication
‘We are not in a position to argue but this is totally the wrong time to restructure English football. Don’t realign the pyramid for self-interest purposes.’
Others bemoaned the ‘disgraceful timing’ of the news as the EFL pleads for a £250million bailout and suggested that ‘poison was all over’ the proposals.
Rather than special voting powers, clubs wondered why an independent regulator could not be appointed at the top to protect the game’s sanctity.
They noted the prospect of scrapping the Carabao Cup and increasing the number of permitted loan players were omitted from a guidance document sent to clubs by Parry on Sunday evening. Fears over top-flight autonomy regarding loan players — essentially where they are sent and obligatory game-time — had been festering among clubs prior to Sunday’s announcement.
David Baldwin has quit as chief executive of the EFL despite only taking on the role in June
One source said: ‘They are holding a gun to the other clubs’ heads and saying, ‘We’ll throw the gun away, but we run your life in exchange’.’
There was also sadness on Monday when David Baldwin, recently appointed EFL chairman, announced he would step down.
The League insisted the move was not because of Project Big Picture.
Baldwin is said to have a real grasp of the difficulties facing the member clubs and how to tackle them.