The English Football League has approved the launch of a £50 million ($58m) fund to assist clubs to handle the effect of the coronavirus outbreak that has seen the 2019-20 season suspended indefinitely.
It’s been suggested that the present season could be voided entirely if the crisis continues, but the EFL are determined to find the rest of the games finished at some stage during the next few months.
Football League board members met this week to discuss how best to proceed, and will now offer short-term relief for many clubs being influenced by the enforced break.
The EFL made an official statement on Wednesday confirming an interest-free loan scheme and the premature release of award payments and made it clear they’re fully committed to making certain the season reaches its completion.
“Included in the League’s continuing contingency planning, the committee heard the remarks and observations from EFL clubs, prior to discussing several issues involving the current financial position and consequences, insurance, regulatory issues, and broadcasting structures,” the EFL stated in a comprehensive statement.
“Discussions centred on fiscal relief for clubs in the short term and while there isn’t any one single solution, steps must be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow through a £50m short-term relief package.”
“This fund comprises the remaining Fundamental Award obligations being advanced to nightclubs immediately, with the rest made up through interest-free loan facility available to clubs, calculated in accord with the EFL’s Article of Lawyers.
“The cash injection is included as part of a set of steps, that includes potential government support to assist clubs and their affiliated businesses through this period of doubt.
“The key objective, to be able to protect competition integrity, is to produce a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority about health and well-being.
The EFL also revealed that the postponement of The Leasing.com Trophy’s final battle between Portsmouth and Salford City, which was initially due to be held on April 5.
They explained that their decision by stating: “This is appropriate given the scale and importance of this event to the soccer calendar, new sponsor Leasing.com, the EFL, both Clubs involved along with their fans.
“More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the showpiece final, and the EFL doesn’t wish to be able whereby many thousands of fans have to change their plans at late notice, so the choice was taken in the best interest of all parties.”