Derby owner urges Premier League clubs to back Project Big Picture

‘The minnows desperately need a deal to get done’: Derby owner Mel Morris urges Premier League clubs to put aside fears of ‘Big Six’ power grab to back Project Big Picture and save cash-strapped EFL with £250m bailout

  • Project Big Picture proposals include £250m bailout for struggling EFL clubs
  • Plans also include a share of future Premier League profits for the League
  • EFL chief Rick Parry supports plans drawn up by Liverpool and Man United
  • And it’s also received the backing of Derby County’s owner Mel Morris
  • At present, several Premier League clubs oppose the idea amid power grab fears
  • It needs 14 of the 20 top-flight clubs to vote in favour of the radical shake-up 

Derby owner Mel Morris has begged Premier League clubs to unite behind Project Big Picture and save EFL counterparts from oblivion.

Under proposals put forward by Liverpool and Manchester United, the EFL would be given an immediate £250m bailout and the promise of a 25 per cent share in future Premier League television revenues. 

There is broad support for the plan across the EFL but those behind it would need 14 of the Premier League’s 20 members to vote in favour – and they are currently some way short of that figure.

Derby County owner Mel Morris has urged Premier League clubs to back Project Big Picture so the EFL can receive a desperately-needed £250million bailout 

Liverpool owner John W Henry (L) and Man United chief Joel Glazer (R) are two of the key figures behind the plans

Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, has been heavily involved in the secret talks up to this point 

Morris understands the unease in the top flight about the ‘Big Six’ clubs holding too much power, but urged them to find a solution in order to rescue the divisions below.

‘It would be great if some of the Premier League clubs – who are really incensed about what they call the land grab by the top six – turn around and say we absolutely will not accept that type of structure, but we’re supportive of the principle of 25 per cent going to the lower leagues,’ Morris told the website. 

Only Liverpool and Manchester United have confirmed they will be supporting the plans

‘Let’s see some leadership in this respect. Everyone is talking about how it’s unfair on some Premier League clubs, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the minnows below the Premier League desperately need a deal to get done.

‘The [Premier League] clubs I’ve spoken to say they know something needs to happen with this redistribution.

‘It probably will be a perfect solution to reduce the financial tension between the Premier League and the Championship and probably between the Championship and League One.’

Morris has been a regular critic of the EFL in the past, and pushed for a better broadcast deal than the one negotiated by the League and Sky Sports.

He also urged the government to take decisive action to help clubs whose revenues have been hit dramatically by the coronavirus pandemic.

He added: ‘I think the government needs to step in and try and help with some leadership on this, but they’re dancing round it.’

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