EFL agrees £117.5m funding package for Championship clubs

EFL agrees £117.5m deal with American insurance firm MetLife to provide immediate support to Sky Bet Championship clubs financially strained by coronavirus pandemic; Premier League agreed to offer £200m interest-free loan facility to Championship clubs in December

EFL has written to clubs

Clubs in the Sky Bet Championship are set to benefit from a new £117.5m funding package agreed by the EFL with American insurance firm MetLife.

The total sum will be made available to the 24 clubs through loans in order to ensure they meet payment deadlines as they approach the end of a season overshadowed by the protracted absence of matchday spectators.

The last Championship games to see fans attend without restrictions date back to March 8, 2020, meaning clubs have played the equivalent of a full season without spectators in attendance.

Second-tier clubs have lost approximately £150m in gate receipts and missed out on other matchday revenue streams since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world of football.

In December, the Premier League reached a £50m agreement over a bailout for EFL clubs in League One and Two and a £200m interest-free loan facility for Championship teams.

In a statement released on Monday, the EFL stated the agreement came after a "competitive bidding process" including "a wide range of private financing providers" as well as the UK Government, although a loan option "could not be progressed due to the restrictions being imposed".

"This past month has marked an unwelcome anniversary for football with supporters now being unable to attend matches for a 12-month period, resulting in multiple negative consequences," said EFL chair Rick Parry.

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"This is therefore a much welcome, timely package of support for Championship Clubs, whose operations have continued to incur significant costs without generating anywhere near normal levels of revenue.

"The support will be pivotal to Clubs being able to re-evaluate their financial position and help them start to plot their way out of the pandemic and plan with greater certainty for 2021/22 when we are hoping for the return of fans in large numbers."

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