EFL says 'primary objective' is to play 2019/20 season to a conclusion
EFL also approves £50m fund to help clubs with impact of coronavirus pandemic while fixtures are postponed; EFL Trophy final on April 5 postponed
Last Updated: 19/03/20 6:21am
The EFL says its main priority is to finish this season to "protect the integrity" of the competition and has put in place a £50m fund to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on clubs.
"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," said the EFL, which represents 72 clubs, in a statement on Wednesday.
There have been a number of ideas floated for shortening or voiding the season but the EFL says it remains committed to getting the season completed, although it was not able to offer a date for resumption.
"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 Leagues fixtures," the league said.
It added that league officials were in touch with the Football Association and the Premier League and other stakeholders to ensure a "joined-up and collaborative approach".
The EFL also says it is launching a £50m fund to help deal with some of the impact of the stoppage.
"Measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50m short-term relief package," it said.
"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 EFLs 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."
Meanwhile, the EFL Trophy final, which was due to see Portsmouth and Salford City clash at Wembley on April 5, has been postponed.
'A positive step'
Former Premier League striker John Hartson said the news will come as a boost for clubs at a testing time for the economy.
"The EFL had to do something and act accordingly," he told The Debate.
"It's not just about the big boys, it's about supporting all the clubs. What we don't want to see is clubs running out of money and struggling - we've seen it with Bury.
"This is very positive news. It could be months and months before we start playing football again. It's good to see some positivity."