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Jonathan Walters slams Project Big Picture

Former Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters has slammed proposals made in Project Big Picture, which would see a shake-up of the Premier League and EFL.

Walters said it would only benefit those "at the top of the pyramid".

What is Project Big Picture?

The plan was revealed on Sunday. Its two biggest advocates are Liverpool and Manchester United and it would see the Premier League cut to 18 teams.

The Premier League would also fund the £250 million bailout that the Football League needs to avoid financial ruin and secure the future of its 72 clubs. The proposals would also see the Premier League hand over 25 per cent of its annual income to the EFL.

Walters, who won 54 Ireland caps, believes it is designed to benefit only the elite clubs and that the promised funds are only there to take attention away from this.

He tweeted: “Two clubs run the Premier League behind the scenes and this proposal will give others a seat at that table.

“There is a long list of demands that the Premier League teams have always wanted and to help the EFL they will be asking for them all! 

“These will include B teams in the EFL, less PL fixtures which will lead to more Champions League fixtures, international PL matches will be on the table – and they will throw in things to get fans on board, e.g capped ticket prices, but this should already happen.” 

Walters added: “This will permanently change football in this country, and it will only benefit the top of the pyramid. 

“It will make it impossible for anyone to get anywhere near them, killing off any future competition and the hopes of all fans at any other club apart from the elite. 

“The timing of this couldn’t be more perfect as it deflects the headlines away from the horrendous £15 pay-per-view announced last week.”

Walters made 233 Premier League appearances during his career, with the vast majority of those during his spell at Stoke City between 2010 and 2017.