As talk grows about 'Project Big Picture', Sunderland CEO Jim Rodwell spoke out about the plans, plans which have proven to be controversial with fans despite being backed by plenty EFL clubs, although there have been some very vocal opposition.
Rodwell said on the issue, “SAFC are in better shape than most, but clubs will topple at the end of this month. I’d like to think if we were the SAFC of five years ago we would have cast an eye to the EPL and thought ‘that could be us’. It’s heartbreaking that fans can’t get in. We were ready to go with a pilot event against Peterborough last month but got the rug pulled from under our feet. We believe we can get a certain number of fans in and out safely to a 49,000 seater stadium. If something good is to come out of this awful pandemic this (Project Big Picture) could be it. The plans don’t hurt anyone in a meaningful way. Liverpool, Man United and Rick Parry should be applauded for trying to do something for the game. We have an obligation to look after the game in a holistic fashion. How much are we losing without spectators? I won’t go into figures but its big, big numbers. We will keep treading water until someone throws us a life buoy.”
Shareholder Charlie Methven, who consigned a letter to the government a short while ago on the future of lower league football, said, “This is the first serious attempt that we have seen to answer the major strategic issues facing the football pyramid, because as the rest of us sit here trying to save clubs with big cost bases and almost no revenues. They have spent three months doing precisely nothing to help except hold endless cozy meetings the only purpose of which seems to be to kick the can down the road, through the long grass and into a ditch, preferably never to be seen again.”