Carlisle United co-owner John Nixon has described the controversial Project Big Picture as a move in the right direction for football.

The Blues director, who also sits on the EFL board, has issued broadly supportive comments on the proposals to transform the game in England.

The scheme, the result of secret talks between the hierarchies of Liverpool and Manchester United and EFL chairman Rick Parry, has caused huge debate in the game.

The proposals include a £250m bail-out to EFL clubs and a 25 per cent cut of future television revenues to the EFL – a significant increase on their current share.

But critics have highlighted other aspects of the plan, which will give the “big six” top-flight clubs increased power through extra voting rights.

Nixon suggested the proposals which emerged in the Sunday Telegraph will be subject to change before anything is agreed.

But he said it is a starting point of a positive step for the game.

Speaking on ITV, Nixon, asked if it was a potentially good deal, said: “Yes – I think the aims are right. I think it is travelling in the right direction.

“The public and fans are fed up with the amount of money going into football to agents, players, clubs spending millions, the media think it is distributed wrongly, and clubs do.

“This had to be tackled.

“What’s being proposed, the basis of it is good. We’ve got to build on it, kick it around, move it around, see what it’s like for clubs.

“Ultimately if gets a better flow of finance to the base of the pyramid and grassroots level, it’s got to be good for English football for the longer term.”

Nixon insisted the EFL board had been “caught out” by the way the news emerged, suggesting a leak about the plan late last week had seen the announcement “rushed out” on Sunday.

Clubs are meeting to discuss the plans, with some having spoken in favour and others against.

“The ball has been kicked off and it’s in play,” Nixon said. “It won’t end up in the shape talked about.”

United had earlier declined to comment when asked by the News & Star for their take on Project Big Picture.

There have been reports later today suggesting EFL clubs are largely in favour of the moves.

The plans, though, have drawn criticism from the Government and Premier League, while Football Association chairman Greg Clarke today wrote to members of the FA Council – on which Nixon also sits – to warn that any potential solutions for the English game “must benefit clubs, fans and players; not just selective balance sheets”.

He added: “In these difficult times unity, transparency and common purpose must override the interests of the few.”

Clarke admitted that he was involved in early talks about Project Big Picture but withdrew in late spring "when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat".

Some observers and club owners have expressed fears of what else the "big six" will do with any increased voting power in the future, in areas such as television rights and the risk of B Teams in the EFL pyramid.

The main proposals in Project Big Picture include reducing the Premier League from 20 teams to 18, with nine “long-term shareholders” given special voting rights, with a two-thirds majority needed.

These could even empower clubs to decide whether a new owner can take over at another club.

The League Cup and Community Shield would be scrapped, as would parachute payments, with 25 per cent of Premier League revenue instead going to the EFL.

There would also be a promotion play-off involving the 16th-placed team in the Premier League and those third, fourth and fifth in the Championship, while seasons would start later and pre-season friendlies extended.

Changes to the loan system are also proposed, which would allow more scope for domestic loans

As well as £250m to help EFL clubs through the Covid-19 crisis, extra funding is also promised for the FA and grassroots football, as well as a new, independent women’s league.

Nixon, meanwhile, has suggested "three or four" League Two clubs are facing immediate financial peril and moves were ongoing to help them.

Clubs will meet on Thursday.