Premier League giants could invite mega-rich Newcastle to join ‘Big Seven’ to give top clubs MORE decision-making power
PREMIER LEAGUE giants are split over whether to invite Newcastle to join an unofficial ‘Big Seven’.
The fall-out from last year’s Super League debacle has seen two distinct blocs emerge in the top flight.
But the 14-6 division means the Big Six lack voting power to prevent rule changes they do not like going through.
That led to discussions over opening the door to the Saudi-owned St James’ Park club.
SunSport understands that Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City have been the most enthusiastic about the idea of an olive branch to the Magpies after the bad blood surrounding scrutiny of last year’s £300million takeover.
They have argued that enlisting the Toon would ensure a blocking minority to prevent contentious measures getting through under the Prem’s two-thirds majority requirement for rule changes.
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Arsenal and Liverpool, though, were said to be resistant to allowing Newcastle into the elite club, with Manchester United felt to be on the fence.
Any informal alliance would raise the hackles of the rest of the Prem.
REFS COULD BE O-VAR-HEARD
HOWARD WEBB is making his influence felt at the Premier League — 12 months before replacing Mike Riley as head of refereeing.
The former World Cup final whistler was the lead proponent of the idea of broadcasting conversations between VAR officials and referees.
PGMOL boss Riley was reluctant to green light the idea of playing the recordings, even though it is allowed by the International FA Board.
But Webb has pushed through broadcasts of the discussions in his role as refs’ chief in MLS and believes it helps “sell” decisions.
It seems unlikely that the change will be implemented this season but is likely to coincide with the Prem adopting Fifa’s new computer- assisted offside tech next term.
Ifab has still placed a ban on live broadcast of the conversations — but that is the ultimate step and is expected to be in place by the 2026 World Cup.
COMMON TOUCH FOR LIONESSES
THE Lionesses banged out Wembley and Trafalgar Square this week.
Now they have been invited to Edgbaston as guests of honour at the Commonwealth Games’ “Super Sunday”.
The Birmingham programme has been designed to showcase women’s team sports with the finals of netball, hockey and T20 cricket on the penultimate day of the Games.
TOP-FLIGHT bosses insist they will try to minimise Prem fixture clashes with next year’s women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
But moves by Fifa to shift the tournament, set to run from July until August, back a month or two may make that impossible.
Zurich chiefs have made behind-the-scenes enquiries of European associations over a date change, aiming for later in the year.