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EFL believes ‘a significant step forward’ taken after talks over rescue deal

Brighton and Hove Albion v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

The EFL feels “a significant step forward” has been taken after its clubs held positive talks on Thursday regarding the £50million coronavirus rescue package from the Premier League.

Clubs in League One and Two look set to be able to access the package soon, with the EFL saying “a collective agreement in principle was made to move forward and finalise the negotiations” and that it was “hopeful” a final agreement could be reached “imminently”.

The package, understood to be made up of £20million in grants and £30million in loans to help clubs cope with the absence of matchday revenue, was initially rejected by the EFL because it felt the Championship was excluded from the offer.

Now that the Premier League has brought forward a separate package for Championship clubs, the impasse seems to have been broken.

In a statement, the EFL said: “EFL clubs have today met by division and separately engaged in overwhelmingly positive discussions in respect of the proposed short-term rescue package currently being discussed between the EFL and Premier League.

“Following a comprehensive debate in all three divisions, a collective agreement in principle was made to move forward and finalise the negotiations, with Championship clubs making it clear today that they wanted to ensure their colleagues in League One and League Two received the proposed £50m financial support package to cover gate losses for 2019-20 and 2020-21 as soon as is practically possible.

“Championship clubs also acknowledged that discussions in respect of the levels of support they will receive will remain ongoing.

“The EFL believes that today represents a significant step forward and is hopeful that a final agreement on the short term rescue package across all three divisions can be reached imminently which will provide much needed support, clarity and certainty for all EFL clubs at a time when they need it most.

“In addition to finalising the short-term financial issues, clubs were today informed that the EFL will contribute fully in the Premier League’s strategic review to consider the future structure and financing of English football, and will hopefully have a direct and positive impact on a more sustainable EFL in the future.”

The Premier League’s strategic review has been stepped up following the emergence of Project Big Picture proposals last month.

One of the PBP proposals had been a 25 per cent share of Premier League broadcast revenues for the EFL.

The Premier League said in response to the EFL’s statement on the rescue package: “We are pleased to note the positive conversations at today’s EFL meetings and look forward to continuing these discussions.”

It is understood the top flight also reaffirmed its commitment that no EFL club need go out of business this season as a result of the pandemic.