The English Premier League has agreed to pay the English Football League a quarter of a billion pounds as part of a bailout for the rest of the clubs in the football pyramid who have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The finances of many clubs have been hard hit since the pandemic caused the barring of fans from entering stadiums. Many are at the risk of going out of business. The injection of the £250m is supposed to arrest that risk.
Under the new government classifications, Stadiums in Tiers 1 and 2 are allowed to open their doors to a limited number of fans to watch football and other sports. Good as that seems, it is not expected to make up for the financial hit clubs have already suffered.
Under the bailout agreement, approved at a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday, clubs in the second-tier Championship will receive an interest-free £200 million loan while third-tier League One and fourth tier League Two clubs have been awarded a £50 million grant.
After the agreement was reached, the EFL chair, Rick Parry, announced: “Our over-arching aim throughout this process has been to ensure that all EFL clubs survive the financial impact of the pandemic.
“I’m pleased that we have now reached a resolution on behalf of our clubs and as we have maintained throughout this will provide much needed support and clarity following months of uncertainty.”
Oliver Dowden, secretary of the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), welcomed the deal. Months ago, he had urged the Premier League to intervene financially in support of lower league clubs.
“I’m glad that football has come together to agree this substantial package. Fans are starting to return and we look forward to building on this as soon as it’s safe,” Dowden said.
“With a £250 million support package for men’s elite football and £300 million government funding for women’s football, the National League and other major spectator sports, we have fuel in the tank to get clubs and sports through this.”