The Premier League and the English Football League have agreed a £250 million rescue package to help tackle the devastating financial impact of COVID-19.
Talks have been ongoing for months, in November the Department for Culture, Media and Sport arranged a Future of Football Round Table attended by key stakeholders with various aims including breaking the deadlock in negotiations, as revealed by ESPN.
An agreement was announced on Thursday in which the 24 Championship clubs will be given access to an interest-free £200m loan facility. The Premier League will pay up to £15m to secure the loan, which will be capped at £8.33m per club and must be repaid by June 2024.
The £50m deal for Leagues One and Two is broken down into a £30m grant handed to clubs based on lost gate receipts from the 2019-20 season and 2020-21 season.
Fans returned to EFL grounds for the first time in nine months on Wednesday, which is capped in alignment with the UK’s coronavirus tiering system with restrictions determined by region.
League One clubs will receive a minimum payment of £375,000 while League Two clubs get at least £250,000.
The remaining £20m is available in the form of a “Monitored Grant” on a need-only basis with clubs given the chance to apply to a joint Premier League and EFL panel for access to funds.
EFL chair, Rick Parry, said: “Our overarching aim throughout this process has been to ensure that all EFL clubs survive the financial impact of the pandemic. I am 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.
“I would like to thank [chief executive] Richard Masters and [chairman] Gary Hoffman for their efforts on behalf of the Premier League, and of course their shareholders, for making this welcome, tangible commitment to the professional game at a time when it has needed it most.”
Masters said: “The Premier League is a huge a supporter of the football pyramid and is well aware of the important role clubs play in their communities. Our commitment is that no EFL club need go out of business due to COVID-19.
“All football clubs continue to suffer significant financial losses as a result of the pandemic, but Premier League Shareholders today unanimously agreed to provide additional funding and support for EFL clubs in real financial distress.
“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement and we stand together with the EFL in our commitment to protect all clubs in these unprecedented times.”
Meanwhile, as part of the pledge to promote equality and prevent discrimination in football, the Premier League has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
Executive director, Bill Bush said: “The Premier League is committed to tackling any form of discrimination in football. Our adoption of the IHRA’s working definition will enable us to be more effective in dealing with any antisemitic behaviour targeting our clubs or personnel. The adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism is the latest step in the Premier League’s continued work to ensure that football is a welcoming environment for all.”