EFL clubs including Portsmouth, Sunderland, Coventry and Ipswich to have access to £125m relief fund from Premier League as season suspended indefinitely

The Premier League has pledged it will advance relief funds of £125m to Football League and National League clubs amid the coronavrius crisis.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 4:19 pm

The season has now been suspended indefinitely EFL, Premier League, FA and FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship collectively agreeing to postpone their football competitions until it is safe to resume.

The FA last month announced the 2019-20 campaign was shutdown until April 30, but with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating throughout the country that date has been pushed back.

Pompey have put their players and most backroom staff on furlough at 100 per cent of their wages, as they take advantage of government support amid the coronavirus crisis.

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And The News understands all staff and players have been advised they will remain on full pay no matter how long the economic impact of the virus is felt.

Chief executive Mark Catlin has stated Pompey are ‘in a position to withstand a period of financial instability’.

However, the Blues could benefit from any funds that trickles down from the Premier League, with players potentially taking 30 per cent wage cuts – although Catlin has previously said clubs can’t rely on handouts from the top flight.

The Premier League has also committed £20m to the NHS.

Fratton Park. Picture: Graham Hunt

Following a shareholders’ meeting, a statement read: ‘It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

‘The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.

'The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution.

‘With this, there is a combined objective for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition.

‘However, any return to play will only be with the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows.

‘The sporting and financial implications for Premier League clubs as well as for The FA, EFL and National League were considered at today’s meeting.

‘In the face of substantial and continuing losses for the 2019/20 season since the suspension of matches began, and to protect employment throughout the professional game, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration.

‘This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change.

‘The League will be in regular contact with the PFA, and the union will join a meeting which will be held tomorrow between the League, players and club representatives.

‘Discussions also took place regarding financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately deal with the impact of falling cash flow.

‘Critically, the League unanimously voted to advance funds of £125 million to the EFL and National League as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.

‘Further to that assistance, the League remains committed to supporting the National Health Service, its staff and helping people in communities, not least those who are most vulnerable.

The League, clubs, players and managers express huge appreciation for the heroic efforts of NHS staff and all other key workers who are carrying out critical jobs in such difficult circumstances.

‘In consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Premier League is immediately committing £20 million to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

'This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need.

‘This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.

‘This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need.

‘This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.’