Klopp happy 'Project Big Picture' kickstarted debate on English football

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Fourth Round - Liverpool v Arsenal - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 1, 2020 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths

(Reuters) - Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp said on Friday that it was crucial that Premier League clubs and stakeholders continue to discuss how to improve English football after the controversial proposals in 'Project Big Picture' came to light.

The proposals would have increased funds for the 72 clubs in the Football League (EFL) but also included special voting rights for the biggest clubs in the Premier League and a reduction of teams in the top flight from 20 to 18.

On Wednesday, Premier League clubs shot down the plans for the radical changes put forward by Liverpool and Manchester United but Klopp welcomed the debate in order to stave off any potential problems in the future.

"It's important we speak about it, there's space for improvement within football," Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby against league leaders Everton.

"A lot of times in life there must be a crisis to start people talking. I'm really happy that now we're talking about it... All the people I know who are involved are concerned about football in general.

"It's not a problem. There are things we can improve and I really think if you improve them now before the real problems arrive in the future, then that's what I think people are trying to do."

Klopp said he was not involved in the proposals but that he was "informed".

Saturday marks 10 years to the day since Everton last beat Liverpool in the derby and Klopp is wary of how Carlo Ancelotti has turned around the Toffees' fortunes as they sit top of the league with a 100% record after four games.

"Ten years for them, long may it continue from my point but we've never once thought about it," Klopp said.

"They did some good (transfer) business and Carlo is a sensational manager. It was clear if he has time to build something and resources to build something, that is what he will do. The team look really, really good."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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