After long negotiations lasting for months, Premier League (PL) has finally agreed to a package that will provide financial aid to the English Football League (EFL) clubs. The final details of the deal were completed this week and an announcement was made on December 3.
The rescue package is divided into two parts. In the first part, PL will make the necessary payments to help EFL to get a loan worth £200 million for the Championship clubs. The second part of the deal is a £50 million grant for League One and Two clubs. This complete package will help clubs in lower divisions to tackle the financial crisis caused due to the pandemic.
Earlier in October, EFL had initially rejected PL’s offer of £50 million as a rescue package. The top clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool had proposed Project Big Picture where a package worth £250 million was included for lower-division in English football. However, the top six clubs in the PL wanted a bigger say in major decisions of PL as part of this proposal. The majority of PL clubs had unanimously rejected Project Big Picture.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admitted that PL will continue to support the football pyramid in the country. He said, “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 needs to go out of business due to Covid-19.”
It will be a big respite for football in England as few lower division clubs have already gone into administration due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. Earlier this week, clubs in England also welcomed fans in competitive games for the first time since March. The UK government has given permission to bring in at most 4000 fans in the stadium for weekend games. However, clubs in tier two regions will have only 2000 fans, while clubs in tier three areas will have to wait longer to welcome fans back in the stadium.