Project Big Picture: My Coup-a-Choo

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire offers an in-depth analysis of the recent "Project Big Picture" proposals.

Some interesting excerpts:

"The ‘Big Six’ teams in the Premier League earn about three times the income of other Premier League teams. These in turn generate three times that of clubs in receiving parachute payments in the Championship, who have three times that of other clubs in the Championship, who have three times revenues of League One clubs."

"The sticking point in relation to financial assistance was in relation to the Championship. Owners of Championship clubs were collectively worth over £30 billion, according to reports in the English media, and so Premier League clubs questioned why they should provide financial assistance when the Premier League was itself unable to generate matchday revenue."

"Embedded within the small print of PBP was a proposal to allow clubs to sell their own rights for up to eight games a season internationally. The revenues from these matches would be kept by the clubs themselves. In addition should the UK government lift the historic ban on matches being broadcast at 3pm on a Saturday, then clubs would be allowed to sell these rights too. This could result in the Premier League, instead of selling a package of 380 matches to overseas broadcasters, instead would have 162 on offer. The price paid by international broadcast partners, who have been willing to offer extra for exclusivity, would fall substantially."

"The Carabou Cup, whilst being relatively unloved in terms of interest and attendances in the early rounds, contributes at least a third of the EFL domestic broadcast deal according to media reports. The clubs who would therefore lose out are the ones most in need of financial support."

"The somewhat bizarre proposal to have nine clubs with enhanced voting rights over issues such as broadcasting rights, ownership of clubs and promotion/relegation appeared to be a cynical move to get more support from some of the non Big Six clubs for the initial change to the Premier League constitution. Leicester City, who have won the Premier League more recently than Arsenal, Manchester United or Spurs were not going to be included in the elite voting gang. This was seen by some commentators as revenge from the owners of those clubs who missed out on a Champions League place that Leicester stole from them in 2016/17 by having the temerity to win the Premier League the previous season through having the best team that season."

"There have been 49 clubs who have participated in the Premier League to date. These proposals will make it much more difficult to increase that number due to proposed changes to the playoffs, where the club finishing third bottom of the Premier League will now participate, with the benefit of a PL budget."

"The present 58% of total revenues shared by 30% of clubs (i.e. the ‘Big Six’) is not enough in the eyes of their owners, and to quote Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit”.

The full article (for those with plenty of lockdown time) is here: