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Sport

Leeds chairman Radrizzani says Project Big Picture was a disgrace

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship Play-Off Semi Final First Leg - Derby County v Leeds United - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - May 11, 2019 Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani looks on from the stands

(Reuters) - Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani described the proposals aimed at radically changing the Premier League’s structures and finances as a “disgrace” and said England’s top-flight clubs must remain united to be successful.

Premier League clubs on Wednesday rejected “Project Big Picture” plans put forward by Liverpool and Manchester United that would have increased funding for the 72 Football League teams but also included special voting rights for the biggest sides in the Premier League.

"I believe what happened is really a disgrace, and for many reasons," Radrizzani told The Times in an interview here.

“I’d like to remind clubs that tried to do this via the back door... that the value of their clubs has grown significantly, four or five times their investment since they bought, thanks to the fantastic job of the Premier League executive and the union of clubs working together.

“The success of the Premier League is driven by this unity and the success of the clubs in working together, so if this is attacked and someone is trying to dismantle it we need to strongly defend it.”

Radrizzani said that if money was the issue, clubs could discuss ways to get better value in international markets.

“So why not find a solution where the top clubs can benefit from their brands in an international distribution of content? It doesn’t need to destabilise the league,” Radrizzani said.

“The league is fantastic and unpredictable and that’s what makes it different from many other leagues in Europe. It’s the result of many years of togetherness.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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