English Football League (EFL) finally has some good news for financially struggling Championship clubs. EFL has managed to secure a new £117.5 million funding package from American insurance firm MetLife. The total amount will be divided amongst 24 clubs through loans to make sure that they meet payment deadlines.
Championship Clubs have faced the financial brunt during the pandemic as games continued to be played behind closed doors. All 24 clubs have reportedly lost £150 million due to lack of fans in stadiums.
At the start of the 2020/21 season, big clubs in Premier League had proposed the idea of Project Big Picture. This proposal meant that EFL would be getting £250 million in the rescue package. EFL Chairman Rick Parry had backed this idea, but other changes in this proposal were subject to intense scrutiny. Eventually, the proposal was rejected by a majority of Premier League clubs.
At the end of 2020, Premier League provided a £200 million interest-free loan facility for Championship Clubs. However, clubs needed more support to get out of this financial black hole caused by the pandemic. Rick Parry insisted that the recent package secured by EFL comes as welcome news for all championship clubs.
“This is therefore a much welcome, timely package of support for Championship Clubs, whose operations have continued to incur significant costs without generating anywhere near normal levels of revenue.”
The British government is confident that normalcy will resume by the end of July. In such a scenario, Championship clubs will be able to welcome back fans to stadiums at the start of next season. Returning fans will bring back a competitive edge to games and also provide matchday revenue to clubs.
It remains to be seen whether the government will be putting the cap on attendance in football games. Despite fans returning to stadiums next season, it will take at least one more year for many clubs to recover from financial destruction caused by the pandemic.