FOOTBALL reacted in fury over a Manchester United and Liverpool-led plot to transform the Premier League.
The backlash even saw the Government rap plans described as a “hostile takeover” by Prem chiefs.
Under the proposals drawn up by United — run by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward — and the Reds’ US owners, the top flight would be reduced from 20 clubs to 18.
That would result in four teams going down and two coming up in the season before reform.
The Carabao Cup and Community Shield would both be scrapped, while EFL clubs are offered an instant £250million bailout payment and promised a quarter of Prem revenues “for 25 years”.
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But the Prem’s voting structure would be torn up to give Big Six clubs an effective veto on ANY major decision.
And SunSport can also reveal that the rest of the Big Six — Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City — were offered the chance to break away and rejoin the EFL, taking the Premier League’s European spots with them.
That astonishing offer by EFL chairman Rick Parry came as the ex-Premier League boss — he was the league’s first chief executive 27 years ago — emerged as the frontman for the new model.
Parry said: “It’s two of our great clubs showing leadership when it’s needed and exercising great responsibility.
“This provides long-term hope and will make our clubs sustainable.”
Asked about his offer, Parry told SunSport: “I’m not commenting on that. There are no threats. This is designed to be for the greater good of English football.”
But while Parry had talks with the Big Six, the other 14 clubs had been left out of the loop until the plans leaked.
The Prem stated it was “disappointed to see” Parry backing an idea that “would have a damaging impact on the whole game”.
Some top-flight club chiefs privately branded Project Big Picture as “ridiculous” and “insane”.
While a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport spokesman called it “a backroom deal being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game”.
EFL clubs are angry that Parry sent them a statement on the proposals just ONE MINUTE before it was released this afternoon.
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