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EFL chief Rick Parry accuses FA chairman Greg Clarke of instigating divisive Project Big Picture

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efl chief rick parry accuses fa chairman greg clarke of instigating divisive project big picture

Football’s bitter civil war escalated on Thursday with EFL chief Rick Parry accusing FA chairman Greg Clarke of instigating the divisive Project Big Picture.

In an email sent to his board, Parry claimed Clarke, along with Manchester United and Liverpool, had ‘initiated this process’ for a major reform of the sport, including radical proposals for a Premier League 2 and B teams in the EFL.

Clarke tried to distance himself from the project earlier this week, claiming he had walked away from the discussions several months ago and saying the FA could use their so-called golden share to block any fundamental restructure.

EFL chief Rick Parry has accused FA Chairman Greg Clarke of instigating Project Big Picture

EFL chief Rick Parry has accused FA Chairman Greg Clarke of instigating Project Big Picture

But the account by Parry paints a different picture.

Explaining his own involvement, Parry says Clarke invited him to a meeting in February with representatives of Liverpool, United and Chelsea to discuss proposals for a radical shake-up that was outlined in a discussion document  

Clarke had co-authored. Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was also invited but declined to go because he would not attend an informal meeting that did not involve all 20 clubs.

These latest revelations at the end of an extraordinary week will embarrass Clarke and the FA, although there is no appetite at Wembley for him to consider his position.

Three of the most senior administrators in the game are engaged in open conflict, with Clarke pitted against Parry while, as MailOnline revealed yesterday, the latter is also engaged in a war of words with his Premier League counterpart Gary Hoffman.

Clarke distanced himself project earlier this week claiming he had walked away from talks

Clarke distanced himself project earlier this week claiming he had walked away from talks

Parry’s email to the EFL board begins by stating he needs to clarify some points. ‘First of all, it was Greg who initiated this process,’ he writes, adding that he has attached details of a strategy document ‘that Greg produced’.

‘You’ll see that the document highlights the role that the major clubs should play in bringing about change given the alternatives that are open to them,’ he continues.

‘He also raises a number of contentious issues such as Premier League 2, B Teams and the exclusion of League One and League Two clubs from EPPP (the Elite Player Performance Plan).

‘For the avoidance of any doubt, this is not to say that Greg was personally in favour of these ideas, but that they warranted discussion.’

Parry concludes: ‘I made it clear from the outset that some of these were absolute non-starters from an EFL point of view and it is clear that they did not find their way into the Project Big Picture proposal.

‘They were firmly rejected by Liverpool and Manchester United, which does confirm their understanding of the importance of the pyramid.’

Clarke responded to Parry’s claims on Thursday by reiterating he had walked away from the discussions when the threat of a breakaway league was mooted and insisted that his involvement was cleared by FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.

Parry is also engaged in a war of words with his Premier League counterpart Gary Hoffman

Parry is also engaged in a war of words with his Premier League counterpart Gary Hoffman

‘I was part of early discussions which involved a number of Premier League clubs, with the knowledge of senior FA members,’ Clarke said.

‘It is an important part of my job to work together with key stakeholders across the game to discuss and evaluate potential improvements to the structure of English football that would have a positive long-term effect at every level of the game.

‘The paper captures a summary of what areas and issues were discussed at an early meeting.

‘I encouraged Premier League and EFL involvement in these discussions for greater transparency across the game.

‘The EFL joined but the Premier League had an interim chair at the time and the acting CEO made the decision not to attend, which is understandable given the outbreak of Covid-19 and their focus on league matters.

‘As the discussions progressed I and others were unhappy with the direction of travel in terms of major redistribution of money and power to bigger clubs and the mooting of a breakaway. I confirmed earlier this week that at this point I made the decision to discontinue my involvement.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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9.30am Man Utd news LIVE: Pogba in ‘France quit threat’, Van de Beek latest, Romero ‘wants contract cancelled’

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GL BLOG MAN UTD NEWS 1

SERGIO ROMERO is reportedly keen to set up a meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward to cancel his contract.

The Argentine was left furious after being dropped from both Man Utd’s Champions League and Premier League squads.

Follow all the latest from Old Trafford below…

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Liverpool ‘will move into their new £50m training ground next month’

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liverpool will move into their new 50m training ground next month

Liverpool are set to finally leave Melwood and move into their new £50million training ground in Kirkby next month.

The Reds were due to make the switch at the end of last season but delays to construction, caused by coronavirus and social distancing measures, held up the move. 

The club sold Melwood for £10m but ensured they had the option to stay for the 2020-2021 campaign in the event of unforeseen circumstances. According to The Athletic, Jurgen Klopp approved the decision to make the move mid-season with the manager keen for it to happen during the next international break.

Liverpool are finally set to make the move to their new £50million training base in Kirkby

Liverpool are finally set to make the move to their new £50million training base in Kirkby

 Liverpool are finally set to make the move to their new £50million training base in Kirkby

The club were due to move at the end of last season but were delayed because of coronavirus

The club were due to move at the end of last season but were delayed because of coronavirus

The club were due to move at the end of last season but were delayed because of coronavirus

Work resumed in May and the complex is now ready for Jurgen Klopp's side to make the move

Work resumed in May and the complex is now ready for Jurgen Klopp's side to make the move

Work resumed in May and the complex is now ready for Jurgen Klopp’s side to make the move 

That could mean Liverpool’s hotly anticipated clash against Premier League title rivals Manchester City on November 8 will be the final game where preparations take place at Melwood.

Liverpool announced their intention to move to Kirkby, where the academy are currently based, in 2017 with Klopp feeling constrained by the lack of space at their historic Melwood training ground.

‘I really love Melwood but football changes,’ Klopp said back in 2017, when news of the switch first emerged. ‘We cannot avoid this. We can’t stay like we always were and hope we can cope with the other clubs. 

‘Sometimes you have to set standards. It’s really good that our owners give us the opportunity to make this big step in the future. Twenty five years ago Melwood set the level. In those 25 years a lot of things happened. 

‘It’s fantastic but we have no space for anything. If we want to have one more office, we don’t know where to go. That’s the situation. Bringing the Academy and the first team together is one point but it’s also about improving a lot of things that we can’t improve here. It will only be good for the future of the club. I really believe that infrastructure keeps responsibility up.

‘Staying here for the next 25 years wouldn’t be good for the club. In this moment we have the idea and the opportunity to do something so we have to wait to see when we can say “yes, take the next step and start”.’ 

34845752 8879487 image m 91 1603703876434

34845752 8879487 image m 91 1603703876434

The Liverpool boss is hoping his side can make the switch during the next international break

The state-of-the-art facility includes two gyms, a swimming pool and three outdoor pitches

The state-of-the-art facility includes two gyms, a swimming pool and three outdoor pitches

The state-of-the-art facility includes two gyms, a swimming pool and three outdoor pitches

The Athletic report that captain Jordan Henderson and James Milner were involved in the design process of the 9,200-square-metre complex while Klopp ensured a padel court was built for his pre-training session battles with assistant Pep Lijnders. 

The state-of-the-art facility includes three GrassMaster hybrid pitches, two gyms, a sports hall, swimming pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites. 

There are also TV studios and press conference facilities as well as offices.

The move means the first team and youth set-ups will be brought together but there are no plans to include Vicky Jepson’s women’s team, who currently train at Tranmere Rovers’ Solar Campus base.

Melwood has been Liverpool’s home for the last 60 years but will be turned into houses once the Reds have moved out. 

There are also TV studios and press conference rooms as well as a number of offices

There are also TV studios and press conference rooms as well as a number of offices

 There are also TV studios and press conference rooms as well as a number of offices

Construction work began in 2018 and was close to completion before being halted in March

Construction work began in 2018 and was close to completion before being halted in March

Construction work began in 2018 and was close to completion before being halted in March 

The first team and youth set-ups will be together but the women's team will not make the move

The first team and youth set-ups will be together but the women's team will not make the move

The first team and youth set-ups will be together but the women’s team will not make the move

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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9.30am Arsenal news LIVE: Aubameyang ‘takes tablets’, Partey told not to ‘waste prime years like Ozil’, Aouar latest

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GL BLOG ARSENAL NEWS 3

ARSENAL were beaten 1-0 by Leicester as a Jamie Vardy header secured the Foxes first away win against the Gunners in 47 years.

And there was more bad news for Arsenal fans as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was seen taking tablets in the first half, sparking fears that he is nursing an injury.

Follow all the latest Arsenal transfer gossip, news and updates below…

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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