Club Comment | Project Big Picture
Cardiff City Football Club welcomes the principle of Project Big Picture which has recently been in the news. Whilst there has been a negative perspective on the plan in the media on governance and control, it’s easy to lose sight of the positives in the paper put forward to EFL Clubs.
Since the formation of the Premier League in 1992 (when the remaining clubs in the Football League turned down an offer to link income to Premier League media rights), finance has been an issue. The link between the Premier League and Football League was further severed in 2000, when Football League clubs voted to go with ITV Digital instead of Sky, resulting in devastating consequences.
Project Big Picture seeks to reconnect the link with the Premier League and guarantee future revenue streams in a marketplace which, domestically, is becoming stagnant. It will allow the EFL to benefit from the growing income generated by international rights which are currently unavailable to the EFL. The plan also includes a salary cap for the Championship to ensure a sustainable financial model is in place going forward.
In addition to increased and guaranteed income streams, the proposed project would help create a more level playing field in the Championship. It addresses the conundrum of parachute payments, which were originally brought in to provide a soft landing for clubs dropping out of the Premier League to pay off contracts of players who they could not move on. These payments have grown significantly over the years, affecting the integrity of the competition.
The other positives that Cardiff City FC supports are:
1. The immediate £350million rescue fund to the FA and EFL for lost matchday revenues for 2019/20 and 2020/21, without a need for government bailout.
2. A fan charter that addresses significant supporter interests, such as ticketing and travel; with fairer pricing, reductions on travel and other fan-friendly initiatives.
3. An increase in annual contributions to good causes, amounting to 5% of Premier League revenues.
4. An opportunity to review governance throughout the football pyramid, so as to determine what’s best for the game.
5. An opportunity to address the issue of the effect that parachute payments have.
6. To provide funding for the development of women’s football and to underpin growth in the female game.
Discussions are at a very preliminary stage, but we would urge all parties, including the Government, to consider the proposals objectively. We hope they will then find a solution which benefits the game as a whole.