PROJECT Big Picture is no more as City and the rest of the EFL wait for the Premier League’s next step.

As expected, the bail-out brainchild cooked up by Liverpool and Manchester United was given short shrift by the rest of the top flight today.

The plan, dismissed by most as nothing more than an attempted power grab, would have sanctioned the £250 million rescue package that EFL chairman Rick Parry has been calling for as well as a giving 25 per cent of any future TV deals to clubs below the highest tier.

City had taken part in yesterday’s League Two briefing with Parry who outlined details of the project – but it was doomed from the start.

Premier League clubs agreeing to cut the division by two? No turkeys are going to vote for Christmas.

It has at least brought the issue to a head as many clubs fear they cannot survive the continued lockout of fans.

The Premier League have agreed to provide a further £50 million to clubs in Leagues One and Two on top of the £27.2 millions solidarity payments that had already been advanced.

They will also work “on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City director of communications and commercial Ryan Sparks questions how fast a rescue package can be sortedCity director of communications and commercial Ryan Sparks questions how fast a rescue package can be sorted

But City’s director of communications and commercial Ryan Sparks questions how quickly a potential rescue deal could be struck.

“The only way this can happen fast is if the Premier League want it to happen fast,” he said. “But I can’t see why they would want to rush.

“They hold most of the cards and they are the big bargaining chip in terms of TV revenue.

“What we were presented with yesterday was more of a speech about a viewpoint. I’m afraid it lacked detail.

“I can see the pitfalls and all I can say is, to coin a phrase from these parts, you don’t get ‘owt for nowt’.

“We’ve had one idea on the table and it was probably a negotiating tool. To think this is going to happen fast is fantasy.

“The EFL are obviously interested because they are trying to act in the best way for their members. But right now, you have to ask yourself what are the priorities?

“Is it to get money to these clubs as quickly as possible? With that in mind, are you going to make the right decision or the decision that you need to stay alive – they are two very different things.”

City are still in a healthier position than most in the lower divisions – with nightmare reports that some clubs may struggle to survive beyond the end of the month.

But Sparks admits the situation cannot go on indefinitely without fans being allowed back into Valley Parade.

He added: “We’re fortunate in the sense we’ve been able to rebalance the books and put Bradford City back on the map as a sustainable product with the help of the supporters and our partners. We are committed to maintaining that.

“Can we trade like this for another 12 months? Absolutely not.

“Can we trade like this for a while longer? Yes.

“But not many clubs are going to be here in 12 months if we’re still in this position.

“That’s why supporters have to be allowed back into stadiums and we have to find a way to make that possible or we’re going to have monumental issues.”

Despite the latest short-term offer from the Premier League, that remains the key point.

Clubs must get fans back through the gates and providing the matchday income so crucial in the lower divisions.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: EFL chairman Rick Parry was involved in Project Big Picture - rejected today by the Premier League EFL chairman Rick Parry was involved in Project Big Picture - rejected today by the Premier League

Sparks felt it was “laughable” that an indoor event at the London Palladium played to an audience this week while football grounds remain locked.

He said: “We’ve spent five, six figures preparing the stadium to be a COVID-safe environment.

“That money is now spent. We were told to do it in time and did it way before we needed to have it ready – but it’s potentially for nothing.

“To then see other events and industries beginning to try and walk back into normality is frightening.

“You cannot just cut off an income stream and say we’ve got TV money, which the theatres don’t have.

“The TV revenue only makes up a certain proportion of your overall turnover. As you’ve seen, there are clubs obviously who are beginning to really panic.

“Please don’t think we’re not in the same situation but we’re probably just not quite as far down the path.”