The EFL have announced that their “primary objective” is to finish the current season once football is cleared to resume, while annoucing a £50m relief package to help clubs struggling financially.
Ahead of the Premier League meeting on Thursday, the EFL board met on Wednesday and announced their latest plans with dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
After gathering several reports, the EFL announced that they would be focused on finishing the 2019/20 season to ensure the integrity of the league was intact, and says it is in the best interests of all of their clubs to finish off the current campaign.
An EFL statement read: “The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority around health and well-being. Plans continue to be developed on the agreed principle that it is in the best interests of the EFL and Clubs to complete the current season at the appropriate time.
“The EFL is continuing regular dialogue with the Government and relevant health authorities and, as and when more information is known regarding the scale and extent of the coronavirus outbreak in this country, a decision will be taken on the resumption of the League’s fixtures.
“Conversations will continue with the EFL’s counterparts at the FA, the Premier League, the PFA and the LMA to ensure football achieves a joined-up and collaborative approach.”
Much has been said and written about how football deals with the enforced break, with Leeds and West Brom in particular keeping a keen eye on the situation given how close they are to promotion to the Premier League.
While Leeds and West Brom are in touching distance of the huge riches of the Premier League though, many EFL teams were struggling financially even before football came to a stop, but the league is keen to help them out with an initialy £50m relief package announced.
The EFL statement continued: “As part of the League’s continued contingency planning, the Board heard the comments and observations from EFL Clubs, before discussing a number of issues including the current financial position and implications, insurance, regulatory matters and broadcasting arrangements.
“Discussions centred on financial relief for Clubs in the short term and while there is no one single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50million short-term relief package.”
Some of the money being released comes from the league moving award payments forward from the end of the season, while the rest is being made available via interest-free loans.
“This fund consists of the remaining Basic Award payments being advanced to Clubs immediately, with the remainder made up through interest-free loan facility available to Clubs, calculated in line with the EFL’s Article of Associations.
“The cash injection is included as part of a series of measures, that includes potential Government support to help Clubs and their associated businesses through this period of uncertainty. The EFL welcomes last night’s announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is continuing discussions to understand how our Clubs can access the funding made available to support businesses.”