In light of Project Big Picture, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that the Premier League and the FA need to come together find a way to try and make football more sustainable. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the lower league clubs and it has seen the Premier League look to help.
While Project Big Picture, created by Manchester United and Liverpool’s owners, shocked English football to its very core, it also saw many surprised at the money the top tier were willing to give. But the proposal also moved to reduce the number of Premier League teams to 18 and give nine top flight teams special voting rights which was something that fans, critics and many others were all against.
However, in a special shareholders meeting Premier League clubs voted against the plans, although they have decided to come to an agreement over a new strategy. It has also seen Mikel Arteta admit that English football needs to figure out a way to “make it more sustainable” and “help each other”. He also added that the plan has to be “agreed on by everyone” and that’s what the Premier League’s statement implied.
"I think it was a very clear statement from the Premier League about what is going to happen. We all have to review the actual context and how we can help each other to make football more sustainable, but I think it has to be agreed on by everybody and yesterday's statement was very clear regarding that," Arteta told in a press conference.
The main concern with Project Big Picture was the fact that it handed the ‘Big Six’ a lot more power to do what they want with the league, and it changed the voting structure. However, Arteta added that he doesn’t believe the elite clubs taking over could have a detrimental impact on the league. The Arsenal boss further opined that he believes the league can “maintain that unity and sustain our way of doing things.”
"I don't think so. I think it's very special the way that the Premier League has conducted itself over the years. I think that's a massive strength so as much as we can, we can maintain that unity and sustain our way of doing things. I think that's very valuable and the image that we project to the outside world is really, really strong. I hope that we can maintain that. I don't know [how important it is]. If you ask all the clubs individually, they probably have different opinions. We have to find a way that works for everybody, that can make this game sustainable and allows us to still evolve in the context we're in at the moment, which is important as well.
"It's completely different to what it was 20 years ago, so we have to move, we have to share a vision in order to achieve that because at the end of the day, it's for the benefit of every club. I think we have to protect the lower leagues as well, this is our obligation. We want to produce grassroots and opportunities for everybody in this industry. I think it's fair to assess the situation and find the best possible way to achieve that. This is our responsibility as well,” he added.