Football

EPL critical of revamp proposal backed by Liverpool and Man United

Proposals backed by Liverpool, Manchester United and the English Football League (EFL) for major changes to the structure of the English Premier League (EPL) were met with swift criticism from England's top flight yesterday.

Liverpool and United are backing a plan to radically change the EPL's structure, giving more power to the big clubs, reducing it from 20 clubs to 18 and scrapping the League Cup and Community Shield, the Telegraph reported.

The plan would see the EPL commit to providing 25 per cent of the league's revenue to EFL clubs and also a £250 million (S$441m) package to help with the immediate impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The newspaper said that the plans had been put together in a document called "Revitalisation" produced by Liverpool's American owners Fenway Sports Group, with support from United's Florida-based owners the Glazer family.

A source with knowledge of the discussions and the document confirmed to Reuters that the report was accurate. United and Liverpool did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

EFL chairman Rick Parry publicly backed the plans in comments featured in the report saying "we are up for it".

But it was not clear how many EPL or EFL clubs had been consulted about the proposals and the top-flight league was critical of the plans and Parry's public support for them.

"In the Premier League's view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support," the league said in a statement.

The EPL said they supported a "wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game" including competition structures, calendar and finances but said there needed to be more inclusive talks.

"Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute," the statement added. - REUTERS

Football