REVEALED: Premier League’s chairman accused Man United and Liverpool of LEAKING Project Big Picture to catch other clubs off guard, during acrimonious meeting where the scheme (that was ALREADY on draft 17!) was killed off
The tone for Wednesday’s crunch Premier League meeting was set from the off by chairman Gary Hoffman.
One source, at a club outside the Big Six, said: ‘Hoffman started by telling them that this (Project Big Picture) was not acceptable and that this had to stop. He said it was not good enough and it was then alleged that it looked like this was a staged leak, which came out at the weekend intentionally to try and catch everyone off guard.’
The source added that it was made clear to the clubs driving the plan — Manchester United and Liverpool — that some of their rivals felt blindsided by what had transpired.
Gary Hoffman (left) slammed the drastic Project Big Picture proposals as ‘not acceptable’
‘There was clear animosity at the start,’ the source added.
But the tense meeting was not without a moment of hilarity. In explaining their actions, those involved with Project Big Picture claimed to those on the call that they did not share the information because it was ‘not mature’, suggesting it was in its early stages.
Not long after that spurious claim, a piece of paper outlining the proposals emerged with ‘draft 17’ written on the top of it. ‘Some people started laughing when they saw that,’ the source added. ‘You could not make it up.’
Those involved also strongly denied that it was they who leaked the document.
Liverpool’s John W Henry (L) and Man United’s Joel Glazer (R) were behind Project Big Picture