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EPL distances itself from radical reform plan

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A number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game, says the Premier League.

LONDON – The English Premier League distanced itself on Sunday from a report which said Liverpool and Manchester United were among clubs behind a radical restructuring plan.

The proposal, reported by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, would see the Premier League cut to 18 teams from 20 and the League Cup scrapped.

The Premier League would also help bailout lower division (EFL) teams ravaged by the coronavirus crisis with 250 million pounds (326 million dollars) as well as other solidarity payments.

But the Premier League itself issued a statement saying: “A number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game.

“The Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for Covid-19 rescue funding. This work will continue.”

Another of the proposals reported by the Telegraph would be a change to top-flight relegation and promotion. The bottom two in the Premier League would be automatically relegated while the 16th-placed team would be involved in a play-off with the third, fourth and fifth team in the second-tier Championship.

The plan is at an early stage and any implementation would take at least a couple of seasons, especially given the Premier League’s overall opposition to the idea.

DPA