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Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer sceptical of Project Big Picture

On This Day in 1992: Alan Shearer joined Blackburn for a British record fee
(Image credit: John Giles)

Alan Shearer has warned that Project Big Picture would “kill” competition in English football.

The Premier League’s record goalscorer is conscious of the need to provide support to the English Football League, but is suspicious of the motives of Manchester United and Liverpool, the clubs behind the plan, and their owners.

He told The Athletic: “They come from American sport, where there’s no promotion and relegation. Are you telling me they bought those clubs because they have a genuine interest in English football in the long term?

No one has scored more Premier League goals than Alan Shearer

No one has scored more Premier League goals than Alan Shearer (Gareth Copley/PA)

“What happens if some owners decide they don’t want promotion and relegation? It doesn’t sit right with me at all.

“There is absolutely a need to support the football pyramid through a really difficult time and I do understand why the Premier League clubs would be reluctant just to hand over the money.

“They might want to attach conditions to that because there are a lot of lower-division clubs that were in trouble before COVID came along. But saying you’ll hand over the money if you get all of these things in return? It will kill competition.”

Shearer is also concerned that handing extra power to the so-called ‘Big Six’ clubs would limit the ambition of others, citing Manchester City’s recent rise and Blackburn’s title success during his spell at Ewood Park as examples.

Jack Walker's dream came true when Blackburn won the Premier League

Jack Walker’s dream came true when Blackburn won the Premier League (John Giles/PA)

He said: “People say ‘Big Six’, but where were Manchester City 20 years ago? I’m not saying that to disrespect Manchester City. I’m saying it because things change in football.

“We won the league at Blackburn when Jack Walker owned the club. That wouldn’t be allowed under this system because the top six clubs wouldn’t want anyone coming along with a genuine love of football, like Jack had, and trying to get his club to compete with them.”