Premiership Rugby plan for fans' return amid 59m aid boost

Paola Ditto
Novembre 22, 2020

The cash injection is largely made up of loans.

The Government has announces a £300 million Sport Winter Survival Package that will be distributed among 11 United Kingdom spectator sports with the aim of protecting their immediate future. Premiership clubs will take £59 million, whilst the governing body, Rugby Football Union (RFU), will pocket £44 million.

Horse Racing, which has struggled since spectators were banned from entering racecourses, has been offered £40 million towards the costs of maintaining the venues.

Oliver Dowden secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said, "Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities, and this £300m boost will help them survive this hard winter period".

The Government has also found another substantial amount of cash for non-league football, with the National League (steps 1-2) to receive an additional £11m, with £14m going to sides from steps 3-6. We are doing just that by delivering another £300 million on top of existing business support schemes.

"Both us and the government are starting to feel more confident that there may be a solution that would allow the safe return of fans that have tested negative for Covid to get back into stadiums quicker".

England's Football League missed out but Huddleston said comparisons with rugby were unjust as he called on the wealthy Premier League to help EFL clubs lower down the chain. Women's football, encompassing the Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship, will receive £3m.

The rescue package comes after rugby league received £16 million ($21 million/€18 million) in emergency loans in May and the Government pledged to provide £100 million (£132 million/€111 million) to support council-run leisure centres last month.

Chiefs at the RFU and Premiership today welcomed the news that rugby union was the biggest victor as the government provided a £300m "winter survival package". "We've worked closely with DCMS and treasury on our submission to get much needed aid to the clubs in order to remain solvent".

The government added it "will continue to work with the [sport] sector to ensure their long-term sustainability".

"Whilst the government's overall economic package has provided a significant buffer, it is absolutely right that we now intervene to protect entire sports, and the communities they support, as we navigate this pandemic".

"This survival package has come at a crucial time for England Netball and the Vitality Netball Superleague and we look forward to working through the next steps of the process to release these vital funds that will benefit the grassroots and elite levels of our sport", said Connolly.

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