Project Big Picture: Premier League to remain 20-club competition for forseeable future, says Richard Masters

Premier League chief executive also told the Business of Football summit: confident that supporters will return to games next season; remains “really optimistic” season will be completed; efforts to prevent online abuse "not working"

Mo Salah and Bruno Fernandes
Image: Project Big Picture proposals include several major changes to the structure of English football

The Premier League will remain a 20-club competition for the foreseeable future, says chief executive Richard Masters.

A proposal made last year - called 'Project Big Picture'- was designed to change the voting structure of the Premier League and funding models for the English Football League and Football Association.

There were several other major changes to the structure of English football put forward, including a reduction from 20 to 18 teams in the Premier League and the scrapping of the EFL Cup and Community Shield.

Speaking at the Business of Football summit, when asked about the chances of those proposals being introduced, Masters replied: "As part of the strategic review, if you are taking a ten-year view of things, everything should be discussed.

"At the moment we're halfway through this cycle. We have been a 20-team league and have been since 1995. That is the favoured model across Europe, apart from the Bundesliga. They have an 18-club league and a different model to ours.

"The English football calendar is jam-packed with excellent exciting football. It's something you come to along the journey. At the moment and for the foreseeable future, the Premier League is a 20-club competition."

'Hope fans can return to PL games this season'

Fans sit socially distanced during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield United
Image: Fans sit socially distanced during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield United

Masters is hopeful supporters may be able to return to the stands to watch live matches at some point this season.

Also See:

Top-flight games are currently being played behind closed doors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I am confident (fans will return next season)," he said.

"No one can say because this pandemic has a way of surprising you but we haven't lost hope we might see a few back this season.

"I hope next season opens up quickly and we can get fans back in the stadium in real numbers and get back to the real Premier League."

Win £250,000 on Tuesday!

Win £250,000 on Tuesday!

Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Tuesday's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 7:45pm.

Around Sky