‘I can understand the controversy it has caused’ – Lambert on ‘Project Big Picture’

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he understands the controversy that has been created by ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals.

Led by Liverpool and Manchester United, backed by EFL chairman Rick Parry and revealed by the Sunday Telegraph over the weekend, the proposals have been the subject of fierce debate over the last two days.

The key elements of the proposal would see the Premier League reduced to 18 clubs; the EFL to receive £250m immediately from the top flight to help clubs deal with the fall-out from Covid-19; the EFL to receive 25 per cent of a shared media rights deal with the Premier League going forwards, an end to parachute payments and a bigger say in the running of the game for the so-called big six clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City).

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The Premier League, the Football Association and the Government have all spoken out against the proposals.

“Something has to change in the game but there needs to be a lot more dialogue,” Lambert told the club website.

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“There are a lot of questions to be answered first and I can understand the controversy it’s created.

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“I’m old school and believe there should be one body running the game but if change is going to come about, everyone has to be involved; get their heads together and be in agreement. If it’s for the good of the game itself then everyone will agree with it.

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“There are so many avenues to explore and while it’s clear that money has to be filtered down the leagues, I don’t see why it needs a reconstruction to make that happen.

“Clubs in the lower leagues needed help before the pandemic but Covid is causing havoc in sport and in lots of areas, not just in this country but around the world so something does have to be done or clubs will go out of business.”

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