LONDON: The Premier League and English Football League have agreed a £250m rescue package to help ease the financial impact on lower-tier clubs of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The EFL will receive a £200m loan for second-tier clubs while a £50m grant has been agreed for League One and Two clubs.
EFL chairman Rick Parry said it was a “welcome, tangible commitment to the professional game at a time when it has needed it most”.
Loans are capped at £8.33m per club and must be repaid by June 2024.
The £50m rescue package for Leagues One and Two is split into two parts – £30m will be paid to the 48 clubs as a grant based on missed gate receipts from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
A further £20m monitored grant will be provided and clubs can apply based on need. A joint Premier League and EFL panel will determine club eligibility.
Clubs receiving a monitored grant will be subject to restrictions with respect to transfer spend and player wages.
Parry said: “Our over-arching aim throughout this process has been to ensure that all EFL clubs survive the financial impact of the pandemic.
“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.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters 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 need go out of business due to Covid-19.
“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.”
Since March, football has been played behind closed doors until restrictions were lifted in some areas of England this week, meaning clubs have missed out on vital matchday revenue.
In October, EFL clubs rejected the Premier League’s proposed £50m rescue package for League One and Two clubs, saying it “falls some way short” of the required amount.
Top-flight clubs made the offer after deciding not to pursue Project Big Picture.
But in November, clubs “agreed in principle” for those in League One and Two to receive the package from the Premier League.
The agreement came two days after after a parliamentary committee heard that 10 EFL clubs were struggling to pay wages.
The EFL board approved the deal on Thursday before Premier League shareholders then gave their final approval to the agreement.
“I warmly welcome this deal between the Premier League and the EFL which provides up to £250m support to help clubs through Covid,” said culture secretary Oliver Dowden.
“Fans are starting to return and we look forward to building on this as soon as it’s safe.
“With a £250m support package for men’s elite football and £300m government funding for women’s football, the National League and other major spectator sports, we have fuel in the tank to get clubs and sports through this.”
Julian Knight MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said he welcomed the rescue package but criticised the delay in agreeing the deal, adding: “This fiasco is evidence of a lack of accountability within football’s governance structure.”