Thomas: Project Big Picture would make Cobblers 'properly sustainable'

Chairman addresses some of the more concerning aspects of the plans
Kelvin ThomasKelvin Thomas
Kelvin Thomas

Chairman Kelvin Thomas says Project Big Picture would make the Cobblers 'properly sustainable' but admits there are contentious issues that need to be 'ironed out' before it can be voted through.

A significant increase in annual revenue would be made to EFL clubs should the proposals go through but there have been numerous concerns voiced throughout English football.

Thomas addresses those issues here...

More power to the big clubs

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"There are contentious issues, the main one being the power it will give the top clubs in the Premier League," said Thomas. "But as Gary Neville said, the proposals are largely positive and now we need to the Premier League clubs to get together and work out what can work for all of them. That would then trickle down into the football league.

"As with any proposal, there are details that need to be ironed out. But with the salary cap in place, this can make the majority of clubs in League One and League Two sustainable from the start and that would be such a massive difference. We can't lose sight of the positives that are in this proposal."

Scrapping the League Cup

"Another contentious issue is the League Cup. I'm a traditionalist and I like the League Cup so it would be a shame if we had to lose that but if that's what we lost to ensure Northampton Town Football Club was properly and independently sustainable for the foreseeable future, it's a sacrifice we would have to accept.

"It's not all about money but what we've made from the League Cup in the last 10 years is probably similar to what we would make in year one in revenue from the Big Picture proposal and that's having played some big games in the League Cup."

Would B teams be introduced?

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"The rest of it is just fear of the unknown and I think some of is unrealistic. The B team stuff get trotted out all of the time but that's unrealistic because there's not a motivation from many clubs in the Premier League to do that.

"There might be some, I think Man City mentioned it recently, but it's not a major push from other clubs and anyway, it would still require EFL approval and there's a lot of opposition to it.

"This doesn't give the top six total control of football and total control over the EFL or what the EFL does. I do understand that concern but we've got to focus on the financial sustainability of football in general because that's the main issue."

Will it actually be voted through?

"I think we're realistic enough to say that it won't get voted through as it is, but these discussions have been going on for a long time and I believe the people working on it are on their 18th draft, so this isn't something that's been put together on the back of a cigarette paper.

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"This is a detailed analysis of English football and the revenue streams in all areas and that's the issue with a lot of this. We've gone through a two-day period of complete outrage on social media without actually knowing the detail. Now we've got a better idea of it, I think people will look at it and go 'this is actually good' and we have to consider proposals that make EFL clubs more sustainable and invest in things like the FA, Wembley, stadiums, women's football etc.

"We can't get bogged down with the fear of the big six taking over the world. Yes, that is a concern and we have to work through that, but we can't cut out noses off to spite our faces. There's a reason why 90, 95 per cent of EFL clubs support this."