Coronavirus: EFL offers £50m to help clubs as Trophy final postponed

Coronavirus: EFL offers £50m to help clubs as Trophy final postponed

Several EFL clubs have shut completely following the coronavirus outbreak

The English Football League is to release a £50m short-term relief fund to help clubs with cash-flow issues because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The fund includes the early release of award payments, and an interest-free loan facility.

The announcement was made after an EFL board meeting called to discuss the impact of the outbreak on clubs.

The Trophy final between Portsmouth and Salford City, scheduled for 5 April, has also been postponed.

Under the terms of the relief fund, Championship clubs will receive their remaining £800,000 award payment from the Premier League on Thursday. In addition, they will be able to apply for a £584,000 interest-free loan.

For League One clubs the figures are £250,000 and £183,000, and for League Two sides they are £164,000 and £120,000.

An additional £1m from the EFL Futures pot, a scheme which rewards clubs for giving opportunities to home-grown young players, will be allocated now on a pro-rata basis.

On Friday, all EFL matches were postponed until 3 April at the earliest because of the outbreak.

The EFL has stressed its commitment to finishing the 2019-20 season “in order to protect competition integrity.”

The 47 League One and League Two clubs told the EFL on Tuesday that they face an estimated combined loss of £50m if the campaign cannot restart before the summer.

Championship clubs are also unanimously behind trying to complete the season after all 24 second-tier sides held a video conference on Tuesday.

“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,” an EFL statement read.

“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 £50m short-term relief package.”

Kelvin Thomas, chairman of League Two side Northampton Town, told BBC Sport: “The EFL decisions today are very useful short-term measures for clubs and it seems like there are more conversations being had, and to be had, in the background with other stakeholders.

“I think when the EFL and clubs have a better idea of what the future holds, we will be able to make more informed decisions.”

The EFL has set up a dedicated task force that will continue to review the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on its clubs and competitions.

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