Premier League Reform Plan Looks Like Power Grab, UK Minister Says


The minister who oversees sport in Britain, Oliver Dowden, said on Monday he feared a plan by Liverpool and Manchester United to restructure the English Premier League was a power grab.

He said it was a move which could prompt a deeper look at the governance of the sport.

The two clubs are backing a plan to radically change the Premier League’s structure.

This will give more power to the big clubs, reducing the competition to 18 teams from 20 for the 2022/2023 season, and scrapping the League Cup and Community Shield.

The plan would see the Premier League commit to providing 25 per cent of the league’s revenue to English Football League (EFL) clubs.

It will also provide a 250 million pounds rescue fund to help with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Asked if the proposal was a good plan or a power grab, Dowden who is the minister for culture, media and sport, said: “I fear it’s the latter and I’m quite sceptical about this.”

He added: “If we keep having these back room deals going on, we’ll have to look at the underlying governance of football.

“We promised in the manifesto a fan-led review, and I must say the events that I’ve seen in the last few weeks have made this seem more urgent again.”

The plan, which has been backed by the EFL, has already drawn opposition from the Premier League.

This is on the grounds that a number of individual proposals within it could have a damaging impact on the game.

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) has also opposed the plan.

“Unless the clubs, the Premier League and the EFL can get together urgently… it does raise genuine questions about the governance of the sport,” Dowden added.

“I’m sure many fans … will be thinking to themselves why can’t this sport get its act together at the Premier League and the EFL level in order to help.”(Reuters/NAN)