The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) have agreed to a £250 million ($337 million U.S.) rescue package to help clubs overcome the financial challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Championship clubs will have access to a £200m ($269 million) pool of interest-free loan funds, while a £50 million ($67 million) grant will be made available for those in League One and Two.
Loans to second-tier clubs will be capped at £8.33 million ($11.2 million) and would have to be repaid by June 2024.
“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,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said.
“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,” Masters added.
“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.”
EFL chairman Rick Parry also welcomed the resolution after lengthy discussions.
“Our overarching aim throughout this process has been to ensure that all EFL clubs survive the financial impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“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 Richard Masters and 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.”
Fans returned to some Football League grounds this week after England’s national lockdown was replaced by a tier system. However, with attendances limited by social-distancing measures, clubs are unlikely to profit from staging matches under such circumstances.
It is hoped that the deal agreed on Thursday will prevent the worst-case scenario of clubs going out of business.