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Project Big Picture facing plenty of questions with Leeds and West Ham not happy

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The fallout from revelations that football could be facing a seismic overhaul has been swift and severe in equal measure.

Just like we predicted, our national sport is facing its own armageddon – and the damage could be catastrophic.

EFL chairman Rick Parry lit the blue touchpaper on Sunday after revealing he's agreed radical plans with Liverpool and Manchester United to change the face of the game.

But it has taken less than 48-hours to discover that the one problem with 'Project Big Picture'' (otherwise known as Rick's Revolution') is that it doesn't have the backing of a lot of those being asked to take part in it. And never will do.

West Ham were one of the first top flight clubs to break rank and oppose the proposals. The Hammers were said to be both "shocked and surprised" the masterplan had been made public. It was all news to them, apparently.

It's understood the Hammers are "not alone" in providing the first line of defence against plans to reduce the Premier League to 18 teams, scrap the League Cup and Community Shield, hand over controlling power to the most influential clubs in the top flight and provide the EFL with a £250m bailout following the Covid-19 crisis.

The nine clubs who have been in the Premier League the longest – which includes the big six of United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham – would also run every aspect of the richest league in the world and be given "long-term shareholder status" allowing them to vote on sweeping changes and even be able to veto a new owner taking over a rival club.

  • Man Utd and Liverpool join forces for Project Big Picture in bid to earn even more power

The likes of Leeds, Sheffield United, Burnley and Newcastle are also understood to be against the ideas being put forward.

The biggest axe these clubs have to grind is the prospect of them being asked to relinquish some of their power and control to become subservient to those already looking down on them from their ivory towers.

But while a spokesperson for the Prime Minister was wading into the debate to outline Boris Johnson's disapproval at how English football is failing to govern itself in an open and honest manner, those standing accused were proving him right.

  • Premier League issue response after plans for Project Big Picture leaked online

It is understood both Arsenal and Tottenham, two of the big six with most to gain, were unaware of how far talks had advanced between Parry and the billionaire owners of Liverpool and United.

You'd have thought those who dine at the top table of English football would have the good grace to keep each other in the loop, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

And just when things couldn't get any worse, it also emerged that some members of the EFL had no idea Parry, their supposed leader, had even cooked up something that is now becoming indigestible by the day.

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Even Liverpool, champions of the land and orchestrators of what could be the biggest overhaul the game has seen in three decades, were facing serious questions from within.

'Spirit of Shankly', the unofficial supporters' union for fans of the club, said 'Project Big Picture' showed "a complete disregard for fans" and have asked the club to "explain their position".

United are sticking to their guns along with Liverpool, although sources from both camps insist the plans being put forward need "refining" and that extensive talks will have to see compromises made from all those involved.

The discussion won't disappear – but the chances of it leading to something fruitful appear doomed from the start.

  • Premier League
  • Liverpool FC
  • Manchester United FC
  • Leeds United FC
  • West Ham FC
  • Newcastle United FC
  • League Two
  • League One
  • Championship

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