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Project Big Picture: Premier League managers react after proposals rejected

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says clubs must help each other “make football more sustainable” after plans for Project Big Picture were rejected.

Premier League clubs “unanimously agreed” on Wednesday that the proposals will not be “endorsed or pursued”. Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says the plans would make the league “boring” and remove the chance of anyone doing “a Leicester”.

“We have to find a way that works for everybody,” said Arteta. The Spaniard believes clubs have an obligation to protect the lower leagues and grassroots football. “That can make this game sustainable and we can still evolve regarding the context we are in at the moment, which is important as well,” he added.

“It’s different to what it was 20 years ago. We have to move. We have to share a vision to achieve that at the end of the day for the benefit of everyone.” The plans, proposed by Liverpool and Manchester United, were rejected at a meeting of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight, who instead agreed to “work together” on a new “strategic plan” for the “financing of English football”.

They also decided on a £50m rescue package for League One and League Two clubs at the meeting. “It’s very special the way the Premier League has conducted itself over the years, from playing in another league in Europe,” added Spaniard Arteta.

“I think that is a massive strength. If we can maintain the unity and sustain our way of doing things that is very valuable and the image we protect to the outside world is really strong. I hope that we can maintain that.”

The “Project Big Picture” plans which would have resulted in the biggest shake-up of English football in a generation aimed to reduce the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18, with the majority of power put in the hands of the biggest clubs.

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