EFL ‘extremely disappointed’ after government suspends planned £ 100million loan to league clubs | Football news

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The English Football League (EFL) has expressed disappointment at the temporary halt in payment of a loan to league clubs by the British Treasury, but are hopeful that a solution will be found.

Second tier sides expected a £ 100million loan through the Bank of England to be paid on Friday to help end the current season, which continues to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, earlier this week, the previously agreed terms of the financial bailout were changed by the government, which insisted on wage restrictions for “those affected” to include players, not just administrators and executives. superiors.

This led to the EFL writing to Championship clubs on Thursday to take stock of the situation and, while the delay is unwelcome, the overall expectation is that the £ 100million loan will be paid off with proactive talks with the treasure.

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EFL says it will continue to work with government to secure championship coronavirus relief package

An EFL spokesperson said: “We are extremely disappointed with the developments at this late stage of our discussions and will continue to negotiate firmly with HM Treasury to achieve a solution that meets the demands of the Championship clubs and is consistent with the settings that other industries are to be invited to meet.

“There remains a significant amount of debt – including HMRC – accumulated by championship clubs, caused simply by the inability to generate normal income levels due to the circumstances created by the pandemic.”

All matches in England continue to be played behind closed doors and as a result, the second division teams in particular are losing money every month.

Some clubs have applied for an interest-free loan, but currently this would only happen if they agree to wage restrictions, which is not expected.

In December, the Premier League and EFL agreed on a bailout that gave lower league clubs access to £ 250million in funding to help them weather the pandemic.

The Premier League provided up to £ 15million to cover interest charges and arrangement costs on a £ 200million loan facility for Championship clubs, which was to help cope to PAYE bonds.

Championship clubs expected to receive a £ 100million loan from the UK Treasury on Friday
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Championship clubs expected to receive a £ 100million loan from the UK Treasury on Friday

CAFE’s postponements were extended until March in December, but when they expire, that could complicate matters further.

As discussions continue with the Treasury, alternatives are emerging and, although at an advanced stage, nothing is finalized yet.

A UK Treasury spokesperson said: ‘The Covid Business Finance Facility provides short-term loans to large companies that make a substantial contribution to the UK economy. It currently helps support nearly 2.5 million jobs in the UK.

“Companies wishing to take out loans must agree to certain conditions on dividends and exercise moderation as taxpayers expect.”

The Treasury added that clubs may be eligible for funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Program (CBILS) or the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Program (CLBILS).

All companies wishing to contract loans maturing on May 19, 2021 must accept certain conditions which are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Chelsea have been in mind-blowing form over the past year, recording a record 33 unbeaten games and currently sit at the top of the WSL.
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The government’s winter sports survival program was announced this week, with a focus on supporting women’s sport

The EFL was ready to pay championship clubs on Friday, but the delay comes after details of the government’s winter sports survival program were announced this week.

The Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will receive a grant of £ 2.25million which will be used to cover the essential costs of running the leagues during the coronavirus pandemic.

England Netball and the Vitality Super League will receive a £ 4.2million grant, which has already got the 2021 season started, in a targeted boost to women’s sport.

As part of the second installment of the government’s £ 300million sports winter survival program, including around £ 250million in low-interest loans, basketball and badminton will also receive support. financial.

With EFL in a position to make loan repayments, there is a feeling that football continues to be treated differently from other industries, but a solution suitable for all parties should be found.

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