Revealed! Newcastle United's position on Premier League reforms

Newcastle United will register their opposition to proposed Premier League reforms at a meeting today.

Liverpool and Manchester United have proposed a radical shake-up, labelled Project Big Picture, which would see the division trimmed to 18 teams. Nine clubs, described as “long-term shareholders”, would be given special voting rights.

The plans would also see an end to parachute payments, which are given to relegated clubs.

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Instead, it’s proposed that the EFL, which is dealing with an unprecedented financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, would receive a payment of £250million – and 25% of future Premier League revenues.

EFL chairman Rick Parry has backed the proposals, but they have been seen as a power grab by the so-called “big six” which would leave Newcastle, and 10 other clubs, without a vote on key decisions.

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has indicated his opposition ahead of a shareholders’ meeting – and United are also understood to oppose the proposals, which would end the one-club, one-vote principle.

“I expect there to be a very honest, transparent, open dialogue amongst the 20 Premier League clubs,” Purslow told BBC Radio 4 Today. “I also expect there to be concrete proposals brought forward by the Premier League executive on funding for lower levels of football, that’s what I hope to see happen.

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“I don’t think we should give too much credence to this particular plan. I think a much broader, long-term plan for football is what I would expect to come from the Premier League.”

St James's Park.St James's Park.
St James's Park.

Football Association chairman Greg Clark also opposes the plans, which have strong backing among the EFL’s 72 member clubs.

In a letter to the FA Council, which convenes on Thursday, Clarke said he had taken part in initial discussions before walking away when he felt the aim had become “the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs, with a breakaway league mooted as a threat”.

Clarke has warned that the FA could use its so-called “golden share” to block the proposals.

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Meanwhile, Sunderland chief executive officer Jim Rodwell has publicly backed the plans.

“If something good is to come out of this awful pandemic, this could be it,” said Rodwell.

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