Premier League makes new £50 million offer to bail out EFL clubs financially stricken by coronavirus head of crunch meeting, and this time the Championship IS included in rescue package
- EFL club chairmen meet on Thursday to discuss offer of new rescue package
- Premier League’s revised offer will allow Championship clubs to apply for funds
- Proposed bail out drops conditions that led to EFL rejection, reports The Times
- Eight EFL clubs required an emergency loan to avoid going bust in October
The top flight has written to the EFL, ahead of its meeting with club chairmen on Thursday, reiterating its commitment to League One and Two, but crucially ditching some of the conditions on the previous rescue package and offering to support Championship teams, too.
The proposed bailout fund remains at £50 million, including £20m in grants and £30m in loans.
The Premier League has made a new offer to support EFL clubs affected by the coronavirus pandemic and applications from Championship clubs would be considered this time
Football league clubs are in a desperate financial situation because they rely on matchday revenue for between 25% and 33% of their income, depending on the division, but they are banned from allowing fans into their stadiums.
The situation is even worse for many clubs that use their facilities to host conferences, events and weddings, because that income stream is also curtailed.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has made clear he will not support football, insisting there is enough money in the game for it to look after itself.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden insists that football has the resources to help stricken clubs
As reported by Sportsmail, the EFL provided emergency loans to eight clubs in October to prevent them going bust and a further 20 are expected to be on the brink by the end of the year.
The loans are a stop-gap measure, which have to repaid at the beginning of next season.
After months of negotiation the Premier League and EFL have failed to come to an agreement on a more sustainable solution.
But now, The Times reports the Premier League has put forward a revised plan.
EFL chairman Rick Parry wrote to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden pleading for help
The EFL has introduced a £50m emergency loan fund for clubs on the edge of administration
This offer includes accepting applications for funds from Championship clubs, which would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any payment would be limited to Covid-related losses and the club’s owner would have to prove they are unable to make up the shortfall themselves.
Top flight teams have been concerned that Championship clubs with wealthier owners than their own may seek support from the Premier League and thereby gain a further advantage. But the exclusion of Championship clubs in any rescue package was unacceptable to the EFL.
In addition, the Premier League has dropped a condition demanding EFL clubs support its position on retaining access to work permits for overseas 18 to 21-year-olds, after Brexit rules come in.
The Premier League has removed conditions on its offer of a rescue package for EFL clubs
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has been under pressure from government
Another sticking point has been the Premier League’s insistence that EFL clubs should agree to the season being decided on a points-per-game basis, if it has to be brought to a premature conclusion because of the pandemic and more than 75 per cent of matches have been played. That has also reportedly been dropped.
The debate over the bail out of EFL clubs has been complicated by proposals to overhaul the structure of English football as part of the controversial Project Big Picture.
Widely seen as power grab by the Premier League’s Big Six clubs, PBP proposed a £250m rescue fund for the EFL, but the scheme was torpedoed by the top tier teams at a shareholders’ meeting in October.
Parry has supported Project Big Picture but the plan was rejected by Premier League clubs