Peterborough United set to receive bailout as ‘Project Big Picture’ sinks without trace

The so-called ‘Project Big Picture’ appears to be dead in the water just three days after a set of controversial proposals hit the headline

Posh co-owner Dr Jason Neale.
Posh co-owner Dr Jason Neale.

The new proposal put forward by Manchester United and Liverpool included EFL clubs receiving a combined £250m bailout from the Premier League, the scrapping of the League Cup, a Premier League reduced to 18 teams and increased revenue from TV deals for lower division clubs.

There were obvious financial benefits for lower league clubs who could struggle to pay their bills before Christmas because of the absence of paying customers from games.

But at a hastily convened meeting of Premier League clubs on Wednesday the 20 clubs swiftly rejected the proposals and instead agreed to a widespread strategy review and also gave the green light to a new bailout offer to the EFL after their opening attempt was turned down.

League One and Two clubs can now expect to be bailed out with £50m in grants and interest-free loans on top of their current solidarity payments of £27.2 million.

Posh chief Darragh MacAnthony, who had labelled ‘Project Big Picture’ a ‘massive distraction’ declined to comment on the latest developments.

Posh co-owner Dr Jason Neale said: “There is another meeting of EFL clubs on Thursday (October 15) when I guess we will be given more detail on the development. One thing for sure is something needs to happen or several clubs won’t soon be with us.

“Myself and Stewart Thompson (the other Posh co-owner) looked at three other clubs before getting involved with Peterborough and two of those won’t survive without a bailout.”

MacAnthony had predicted the proposals would be voted down by Premier League clubs.

He believed the plans were worth discussing, but only in the future after an urgent financial bailout had been received from the UK Government or the Premier League.

That bailout could now be forthcoming.

MacAnthony said on his ‘Hard Truth’ podcast the proposals could be seen as a ‘necessary evil’, but he was vehemently against B teams in the EFL and any attempt to tinker with current promotion and relegation rules.