Premier League clubs express ‘considerable frustration’ with EFL chief Rick Parry as they look to rebuild trust

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden had earlier warned Parry not to be distracted by PBP, which he described as the “latest wheeze”, and urged the leagues to continue talks over an EFL rescue package. He also described PBP as ‘Project Power Grab’.

He has welcomed the Premier League’s offer to Leagues One and Two as “a good start”. The Premier League said discussions would continue over possible loans to clubs in the Championship.

Masters said the Premier League meeting on Wednesday had been “candid, constructive and positive” despite the involvement of two of the clubs in drawing up the PBP proposals.

“Whilst there has been a lot of things said and done, a lot of speculation over the last four days, I don’t think it’s irreparably damaged the Premier League. And I think that today’s meeting proved that,” Masters added.

FA chairman Greg Clarke said on Tuesday he had walked away from Big Picture discussions in the spring “when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat”.

However, Masters said: “I don’t think anybody has been talking about breaking away.”

Asked if there were any elements of PBP that could be worked with, Masters said: “Well, I think there was an acknowledgment in the room that English football’s model is a huge success, but that it hasn’t been reviewed or modernised for a long time.

“And so that perhaps there have been some systemic issues built up that need dealing with.

“And as I said, a lot of the things we’ve been talking about – league structure, calendar construction, governance, the financial regulation, broadcasting and commercial will all be part of our review process as well.”

Project Big Picture has, at least, provoked a much-needed conversation which the EFL hopes can be involved in going forward.

“As we have maintained across the past 72 hours, there is a significant issue facing the English footballing pyramid and therefore it is encouraging that there is an acknowledgment that a review of the current status quo is required, with a strategic plan to be developed to consider the future of the football,” said a statement.

“While by no means a finished product, Project Big Picture was developed to consider these same issues and address the challenges facing football from top to bottom.

“The EFL welcomes the opportunity to contribute to any wider debate with colleagues across the game as we seek to finally address impossible economic pressures and deliver on the objective of having a sustainable EFL in the long-term.”

PA

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