My view on Project Big Picture: Premier League Destroyed

I remember being six years old, growing up in an apartment, where football was watched on Cable Television Channel, called ART. Despite remembering the 2002 World Cup, and the delicious chip by Ronaldinho, my football love began after Arsenal Invincibles season. Growing Up, I became increasingly interested in the corporate running of the football team, with Marketing, Finance, and Strategy taking me on board. By 16 years old, I knew every Premier League owner and frequently watched Press Conferences of the football team owners get more understanding of things other than what was happening inside the pitch.

Reading books, articles, it is obvious that in the 1990’s Italian Serie A had an upper hand on Premier League, with ‘Batigoal’ and Diego Maradona, having much bigger spectators than Ian Rush or George Graham’s 1–0 Arsenal. Premier League's inception, in 1992, was a discussion among top CEOs of football clubs, with David Dean being in the forefront of the idea of establishing Premier League. Premier League gained an upper hand from other leagues mainly due to the initiation of Pay-Per-View, in which the first contract was sold to British Telecom (BT). It also made all stadiums in England be fully seated, which defied the norms of Football across Europe, and the league became less marred with Ultra culture, and accidents like Hillsborough would have a very less probability.

Cable TV expanded the Premier League from an English upper echelon league into a global sport, in which teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, who had huge results in the years preceding the Cable TV expansion, enjoying amazing marketing opportunities added with Internet expansion globalizing Premier League. Increased Shirt Sales, Stadium Visits from across the globe, Increase in the cast of talents that play in the Premier League made it a truly global sport.

Despite the success of the Premier League, the way the TV Revenue is divided among clubs is increasingly making ‘Top-Six’ clubs make or chase another means. From the total revenue from TV, around 60% of it is divided for clubs just playing in the Premier League, with the rest 40% divided based on team rankings and other criteria. This means the ‘top-six’ teams have proposed a whole new way of how football should be run called ‘Project Big Picture’. This ‘project’ would change the Premier League forever, by cutting the competition into 18 teams, like Bundesliga, and giving the traditional ‘big six’ huge control, as they decide who can own football clubs from now on, and they become in charge of football operation in Premier League.

The move would ax the Carabao (EFL) Cup, a huge source of Finance for lower division clubs, and Community Shield. The Big Picture has also stated for the top six teams to have eight matches viewed by their own streaming services, to their liking, every year. The Big Six have incentivized EFL into including an immediate bailout of the EFL plus an annual 25 percent of revenue payment every year. Due to a huge global fanbase, big six teams are going to breakout soon from the Premier League. This would probably make owners of the big six profitable beyond the wildest riches, but it would kill the football of what we saw growing up.

I personally believe that it is unfair for the Premier League, as the ‘big six’ accrued the global fan base mainly through the era of Cable TV in which Arsenal, Chelsea, and United were successful. The early start and success of Cable TV has set off a huge graph differential between the Big Six and Others, as the writer of Soccernomics stated, has provided intense global base and support, through which other teams competing in the Premier League or ‘Yo-Yo’ clubs can’t get because EFL wasn’t marketed and televised as the Premier League, and wasn’t viewed in Cable TV, it seems the success of Premier League has finally eaten itself up.

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Concerned with Economics

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Michael Tomas

Michael Tomas

Concerned with Economics

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