FA Threaten To Stop 'Big Six' Being Allowed In The Champions League
The FA has threatened to ban the Premier League's 'big six' from entering the Champions League, if they go ahead with a potential breakaway.
Project Big Picture has caused controversy in English football after a proposal, written up by Liverpool and Manchester United, looked to help EFL clubs out with money in exchange for the biggest clubs having more power.
The plans are believed to have the backing of Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal and the 'big six' have even threatened a breakaway from the Premier League.
However FA chairman Greg Clarke has warned that he will use the governing bodies 'special powers' to stop a breakaway by preventing the clubs from entering the Champions League.
Whilst it's the top four who qualify for the competition the FA actually nominates which competition and which clubs go into Europe. They could therefore nominate the teams left in the Premier League if there were a breakaway.
In a statement Clarke revealed he had been part of the initial talks with those involved in the Project Big Picture plans but had soon removed himself, ""However, in late spring, when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat, I of course discontinued my involvement and counselled a more consensus-based approach involving all Premier League clubs and its chair and chief executive. Our game needs to continually seek to improve but benefits need to be shared.
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"We, the FA Board and Council, have to ensure that any changes would be to the long-term benefit of the whole of football and we have substantial controls to help ensure that the best interests of the game are served by any new proposals.
"In addition to the special share in the Premier League, which prevents certain changes being made to the constitution without the FA's consent, it is also the FA's responsibility to sanction competitions in England - including any proposed new competition - as well as being responsible for licensing clubs, through Uefa, to play in Europe. Additionally, Uefa look to us to nominate the league, and therefore the clubs, that will play in their competitions."
Clarke also warned those involved, including EFL chief Rick Parry, adding, "Let's continue to work together to determine what is best for English football. Change must benefit clubs, fans and players, not just selective balance sheets. In these difficult times unity, transparency and common purpose must override the interests of the few."
The idea for the change would see the EFL clubs get more money from the Premier League to help with the current crisis in football lower down the pyramid, which has got many teams on board.
However it would also mean there is no longer a 'one club one vote' system in the top tier and instead of 14 votes needing to be cast to make a decision it would only need six of the nine longest serving Premier League clubs.
The top tier would be reduced to 18 teams but the Championship, League One and League Two would remain at 24 teams each, meaning two clubs would lose out on league football.
There would also only be three guaranteed promotion spots from the second tier up every season, with the 16th placed Premier League side joining third, fourth and fifth from the Championship for the play-offs.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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