West Ham take stand against ‘Project Big Picture’

‘Project Big Picture’ has caused controversy since it entered the public domain and West Ham, however, have taken a stand against it.

West Ham are opposing the plans of ‘Project Big Picturethat have been devised by Liverpool and Manchester United owners John Henry and Joel Glazer. The radical play would see the power shift towards the traditional top six clubs in England. These clubs are Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Three other clubs would also be granted special status in the plans, and these clubs are Everton, Southampton and West Ham United. A source at the East London side, however, told the BBC Sport they are “very much against” it.

The source also suggested that West Ham did not know of the proposals, despite being named in them, and were surprised to see them when it entered the public domain. It is believed that Liverpool and Manchester United are the driving force behind the plans.

The ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals

  • The Premier League cut from 20 to 18 clubs, with the Championship, League One and League Two each retaining 24 teams.
  • The bottom two teams in the Premier League relegated automatically with the 16th-placed team joining the Championship play-offs.
  • The League Cup and Community Shield abolished.
  • Parachute payments scrapped.
  • A £250m rescue fund made immediately available to the EFL & 25% of all future TV deals
  • £100m paid to the FA to make up for lost revenue.
  • Nine clubs given ‘special voting rights’ on certain issues, based on their extended runs in the Premier League.

Plans and talks have apparently been going since January, and the one that made it into the public domain is the seventeenth version of the project. The source has suggested that the loss of two home games a season would hit the club financially and other statements in the plans favour the ‘big six’.

It would also be understandable for West Ham to be concerned about the scrapping of parachute payments. The club has faced plenty of relegation battles over the last few seasons. Should it lose one in the future, the lack of financial support could be devastating for the Hammers.

“The big six are using Covid for a power grab,” said the West Ham source. “If this goes through, over time they will just use more and more for themselves.”

The source believes that the big teams are trying to benefit from the Coronavirus pandemic and are planning a ‘power grab’. Despite the East London side being one of the sides that could be given extra powers, they have taken a stand and believe the Premier League should remain as it is.

In other news, the Hammers could be about the announce the signings of Brentford winger Said Benrahma and Watford defender Craig Dawson. Both deals appear to be close to completion should the players’ sign, they could make their debuts against Tottenham.