EFL clubs have finally been given a £250m bailout package – but there are still fears it might not be enough to save all of them.
Premier League bosses finally agreed a rescue deal with the EFL to give £50m to League One and Two clubs and a further £200m in loans to Championship clubs.
It has been broadly welcomed with EFL clubs facing financial ruin even with the return of fans because gate receipts and huge losses during the pandemic have left many facing bankruptcy.
Clubs have been struggling to make payroll, to keep staff and many community schemes are in serious danger.
This should ease the immediate fears – but many still fear they may never recover from the long term damage.
Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson said: “As a club we are delighted and very grateful.
“The Premier League did not have to do this.
“It should stop the majority of clubs going out of business in the short term.”
Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling also cast doubt over the “monitored” grants on offer to League One and Two clubs.
Cowling said: “It’s a good day. We are going to get some help. In general, I am very positive but the only uncertainty is the monitored grant, that seems anti-competitive.”
EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “Our over-arching 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.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: “The Premier League is a huge 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.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I warmly welcome this deal between the Premier League and the EFL which provides up to £250 million support to help clubs through Covid.
“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 £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.”
The relief package is worth £50m for League One and Two clubs with £30m paid to all 48 clubs and another £20m available as a “monitored grant” for those who apply. Each club will receive a minimum payment of £375,000 in League One and £250,000 in League Two.
Any club who sign up for the monitored grant will have to abide to rules on wages, transfer spending and strict compliance of EFL regulations. Clubs who comply do not have to repay but those in breach will have to pay it back.
Championship clubs can apply for loans up to £8.33m each to help them meet tax bills up to June 2021 and must be repaid by June 2024. Any shortfall will be taken from solidarity payments.
The Premier League agreed to provide a payment commitment of up to £15m to cover interest, arrangement fees and professional fees for the loans. But it comes with strict rules on what they can spend it on – to stop any club using it to dip into the transfer market.
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