KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Some 676 financially challenged clubs from across Europe will benefit from an early hand-out by UEFA of the revenue-share due from the qualifying rounds of the European Championship even though the finals have been postponed until next year.
UEFA’s executive committee took the emergency decision to try to tackle the financial difficulties sparked by the coronavirus crisis which has halted football across the continent.

President Aleksander Čeferin said: “European clubs are an integral part of the success of our national team competitions. In these difficult times when many clubs are facing financial issues, especially with their cash flow, it was our duty to make sure that clubs receive these payments as quickly as possible.”

The payments were originally scheduled to be made on completion of the European qualifiers play-offs but these all had to be called off as national governments imposed travel and health restrictions and public lockdowns.

The payments will be made as follows:

€50m to clubs who released players for the 39 national teams not involved in the play-offs;

€17.7m to clubs who released players for the 16 national teams involved in the play-offs.

The balance of €2.7m, for players released for the play-offs, will be distributed upon completion of the play-off matches – hopefully in the autumn.

For the UEFA Euro a total of €200m is available for distribution among the clubs.

Some €70m will be shared among clubs who released players for the European qualifiers and the Nations League, and the remaining €130m will be shared among clubs releasing players for the finals.

A UEFA statement said: “These payments will benefit a very high number of clubs all over Europe and will give them vital breathing room at a critical time. 676 clubs from the 55 UEFA member associations will receive amounts ranging from €3,200 up to €630,000 for their contribution to the European Qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League for the 2018–20 period.”

The decision was welcomed by Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Club Association.

He said: “This represents a much-needed injection into club finances. While public health remains our primary concern, securing financial, legal and regulatory relief in advance of restarting football across Europe, once it is safe to do so, is of paramount importance to ECA and its members.”