Rick Parry hits out at Liverpool accusations and insists Project Big Picture is not dead

EFL chairman Rick Parry has slammed the detractors of Project Big Picture and claimed that the proposals are still alive.

Earlier this month, proposals were leaked that would have seen the biggest shake-up of English football since the formation of the Premier League in 1992.

Liverpool and Manchester United were the driving forces behind the scheme, with EFL boss Parry cited as the main architect.

The plan was devised to help bridge the gap between the Premier League and the rest of the football pyramid.

Parts of the proposal were positively received, none more so than the idea of a £250million rescue package to the EFL in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rick Parry has been named as the main architect of Project Big Picture

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However, elements which would have seen the nine longest-serving members of the Premier League given more power, were widely criticised.

After a vote, the initial scheme was rejected, although a strategic review on the future of the English game was promised.

But in an interview between Parry and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher in the Telegraph, the EFL boss has refused to give up on the idea.

“Rick, you can’t seriously expect me and football fans to believe the American owners of Liverpool and Manchester United care about the long-term future of English football?” Carragher asked.

Parry replied: “I absolutely believe they care. I know they are genuine because I have been talking to them for long enough, otherwise I would not have gone with this.

Liverpool owner John Henry was said to be one of the “driving forces” behind the scheme

“The fact is it was Liverpool, Manchester United and the EFL who decided to stick our heads above the parapet. They put their names to it and allowed me to say they back it. To me, the proof of it is in the plan for the pyramid.

“Why would they be prepared to give 25 per cent of the Premier League’s money to the EFL if they did not care? If they are prepared to come out and talk, then maybe you will believe me.”

Parry went on to hit out at the notion that Liverpool and Man United were “evil” agents in the situation.

“I was incredibly frustrated we could not get this through by May so we could put it into motion for this season,” he added. “Then what happened when the plans were put forward is that it was immediately leaked.

Could Project Big Picture still happen? Have your say here.

EFL chairman Rick Parry has claimed that Project Big Picture is “too good to die”

“It was leaked to try to kill it. That meant we didn’t launch it as we would have liked.

“Suddenly it was being portrayed as good against evil, as if Manchester United and Liverpool are somehow evil. That is outrageous.

“Let’s not forget that some of the so-called ‘good’ guys were saying they wanted to stop the season not long ago. Where is the good in that? That is just self-interest.

“The bottom line is the plan is way too good to be allowed to die. There are too many good elements to it.

“The Premier League has promised a strategic review. They recognise there needs to be change. I hope it happens speedily.”

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