EFL to provide £50m relief package to clubs during the coronavirus crisis and want to see the season played to a finish

The EFL want to deliver a 'successful conclusion' to the season and are putting together a £50m relief package for its clubs to survive the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 6:38 pm
Preston North End's Deepdale ground

Football is currently suspended until the first weekend in April because of the Covid-19 pandemic but that return date is highly unlikely.

There remains a strong desire to play the campaign to a conclusion but with health and well-being the priority.

The EFL board met on Wednesday to discuss the next step forward, one of the decisions they made being to postpone the Leasing.com Trophy Final between Portsmouth and Salford.

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With regard to finishing the season, a statement from the EFL said: "The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority around health and well-being.

"Plans continue to be developed on the agreed principle that it is in the best interests of the EFL and clubs to complete the current season at the appropriate time.

"The EFL is continuing regular dialogue with the Government and relevant health authorities and, as and when more information is known regarding the scale and extent of the coronavirus outbreak in this country, a decision will be taken on the resumption of the League’s fixtures.

"Conversations will continue with the EFL’s counterparts at the FA, the Premier League, the PFA and the LMA to ensure football achieves a joined-up and collaborative approach."

Financial support is a huge issue, with clubs facing a prolonged period without revenue through ticket sales and commercial ventures.

Addressing that, the EFL said: "As part of the League’s continued contingency planning, the Board heard the comments and observations from EFL clubs, before discussing a number of issues including the current financial position and implications, insurance, regulatory matters and broadcasting arrangements.

"Discussions centred on financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no one single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50million short-term relief package.

This fund consists of the remaining Basic Award payments being advanced to clubs immediately, with the remainder made up through interest-free loan facility available to clubs, calculated in line with the EFL’s Article of Associations.

"The cash injection is included as part of a series of measures, that includes potential Government support to help Clubs and their associated businesses through this period of uncertainty.

"The EFL welcomes last night’s announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is continuing discussions to understand how our clubs can access the funding made available to support businesses.

"In addition, we will continue our discussions with our football partners to determine how we can all get through this difficult, challenging and unprecedented situation."