Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson reveals thoughts on Project Big Picture proposed by Manchester United and Liverpool

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Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has backed the controversial Project Big Picture and says the proposals would guarentee the sustainability of football outside the Premier League.

Details about the plan, which has been put together by the owners of Manchester United and Liverpool, emerged on Sunday via the Telegraph and received a strong backlash.

The project would see power move further towards the Premier League’s so-called Big Six, who would receive special voting rights on certain issues, along with West Ham, Everton and Southampton.

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And while Gibson accepts the changes would come at a cost, the Boro owner believes other incentives, which include a £250million support package and 25 per cent of revenue from future TV deals for EFL clubs, is worth the sacrifice.

Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson is backing Project Big Picture.Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson is backing Project Big Picture.
Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson is backing Project Big Picture.

Writing for MailOnline, Gibson said "overall the document is better for the future of football".

"The £250million bailout is absolutely essential in the short-term and, going forward, so is the 25 per cent redistribution of Premier League revenue.

"It guarantees the sustainability of football outside the Premier League, providing there is discipline put into it through regulation, the biggest one being a hard wage cap in the EFL.

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"When I first saw the document I was excited by it. It is self-interest, of course. Is it better for my club? Yes. But certainly all of the Championship clubs I've spoken to are behind it. As for those in League One and Two, it would be huge. It would save a lot of them.

"The proposals outlined in Project Big Picture are too important to dismiss - it has my support and I have spoken to EFL chairman Rick Parry to tell him so.

"I understand it comes at a cost for some Premier League clubs. I, too, am uneasy about the movement and concentration of power.

"But the truth is that those top six clubs already have significantly more influence than the rest. If you look at where football revenue is generated in this country, it is because of the overseas love affair with the Premier League. In particular, those big six clubs.

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"So nothing is perfect. Would you ordinarily wish that power shift to be the case? Probably not. But sometimes you have to give something up.

"Overall, the document is better for the future of football. Because without this, or another bailout, I see a domino effect. One club will go bust and then another and another. And these clubs are so important to the community. I could not imagine the town of Middlesbrough without its football club."

Gibson also believes the plans, which would see the end of Premier League parachute payments, would benefit Championship clubs.

"A lot of Championship clubs at the moment are completely dependent on owners,” Gibson added.

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"The amount of money they are putting in to compete against those clubs who come down with parachute payments, it is simply not sustainable. So removing parachute payments makes for better competition.

"The wage cap is also absolutely necessary to assist these proposals. You only need one rogue owner to come in and start throwing money around and it distorts the market.

"We need to use it to build the experience for the supporters, better stadiums, academies, more involvement in the community.”

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