Amanda Staveley’s husband slams controversial Project Big Picture proposal

Amanda Staveley's husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi has slammed the Project Big Picture plans being led by Liverpool and Manchester United.

The plans for a radical overhaul of the Premier League have been seen as a power grab by the big six clubs – and in particular by the American owners of United and Liverpool.

The top flight would be cut to 18 teams, promotion from the Championship would be made more difficult, and the League Cup and Community Shield would be abolished in an easing of the fixture schedule.

Perhaps most controversially, the Premier League's nine longest-serving clubs – including the big six – would be granted special voting rights as 'long-term shareholders'.

The current longest-serving clubs are Liverpool, United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, West Ham and Southampton.

Only six of these clubs would be required to vote in a favour of a proposal for it to be passed, and these clubs would also be able to veto the Premier League board’s approval of a proposed new owner.

Earlier this year, Ms Staveley spearheaded a Saudi-backed bid to take over Newcastle United.

The bid reached the stage of the Premier League's owners and directors test, but was pulled by the consortium after a 17-week wait for a decision.

A voting system as proposed by the Project Big Picture plans could have had huge ramifications for the ultimately doomed takeover bid – and Ms Staveley's husband has taken a swipe on Twitter.

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He referred to the 2015/16 Premier League season, when Leicester City defied the big six's grip on the top flight to be crowned champions.

Mr Ghodoussi tweeted: "Monopolies destroy competition…. what makes the premier league the best league in the world is seasons like 2015/16. #PremierLeague#20teams."

The controversial Project Big Picture plans, which have been backed by EFL chairman Rick Parry, would also lead to a £250m rescue fund being made available to the English Football League.

However, the plans have been roundly criticised by the Premier League, the government and supporters' groups.

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