Thursday 3 December 2020 1:44 pm

Premier League agrees £250m bailout package to help EFL clubs survive pandemic

The Premier League has agreed a £250m bailout for struggling clubs outside the top division.

The aid package for the English Football League (EFL) includes £50m in grants for teams in Leagues One and Two.

A further £200m in interest-free loans will be made available to clubs in the Championship.

The long-awaited deal to mitigate the impact of the pandemic follows months of negotiations.

“The Premier League is a huge supporter of the football pyramid and is well aware of the important role clubs play in their communities,” said chief executive Richard Masters.

“Our commitment is that no EFL club need go out of business due to Covid-19.”

League One and Two clubs will receive an immediate £30m in grants to cover lost gate receipts.

A further £20m in grants will be available on a means-tested basis.

The Premier League has secured a £200m loan facility for Championship clubs which will be offered interest-free.

EFL chair Rick Parry said: “Our over-arching aim throughout this process has been to ensure all EFL clubs survive the impact of the pandemic.

“I am pleased that we have now reached a resolution on behalf of our clubs. This will provide much needed support and clarity following months of uncertainty.”

MPs give deal mixed response

The government omitted football from its £300m aid package for British sport last month.

It has long insisted that football generates enough money to sustain itself and did not need centralised support.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “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. 

“With a £250m support package for men’s elite football and £300m 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.”

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee chair Julian Knight criticised the time taken to reach agreement.

“It cannot be right that in the middle of a pandemic the Government has been drawn into sorting out wrangles at the top of the game because football chiefs were incapable of doing it themselves,” said Knight.

“This fiasco is evidence of a lack of accountability within football’s governance structure, demonstrating the urgent need for a review of how the business of football can be better managed in the interests of the clubs, fans and the nation.”