Premier League pledges £250M rescue package for lower divisions
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The English Football League (EFL) accepted an enhanced rescue package worth £250 million from the Premier League on Thursday.

The deal is split into £50 million for clubs in League One and League Two in the form of grant and monitored grant payments, and a £200-million interest-free loan for outfits in the Championship.

The EFL rejected the Premier League's previous offer of a £50-million bailout in October. The 72 teams in the second, third, and fourth rungs of England's professional ladder were seeking five times that amount to cover lost gate receipts, non-matchday income, and sponsorship revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the terms of Thursday's agreement, each club will receive a minimum payment of £375,000 in League One and £250,000 in League Two. Another £15 million will then be distributed according to a "lost gate revenue share calculation" approved by the EFL and the Premier League. That setup will attempt to ensure fair compensation for lost matchday revenue gets paid to the likes of League One's Sunderland (average attendance of 30,118 last season) and League Two's Morecambe (average of 2,264 last season).

The remaining £20 million will be provided to third- and fourth-tier clubs that "need" the support. Those teams will apply for extra capital to a joint EFL and Premier League panel and, if successful, will be subject to restrictions on transfer spending and player wages. Clubs that fail to abide by those restrictions will need to pay back their monitored grant.

The £200 million allotted for the Championship, meanwhile, is capped at £8.33 million per club. The loan must be repaid by June 2024. The Premier League paid up to £15 million to cover interest, arrangement fees, and professional fees to allow the EFL to secure the interest-free loan.

"I'm glad that football has come together to agree to this substantial package. Fans are starting to return and we look forward to building on this as soon as it's safe," said the government's culture secretary Oliver Dowden, according to BBC Sport.

"With a £250 million support package for men's elite football and £300 million government funding for women's football, the National League and other major spectator sports we have fuel in the tank to get clubs and sports through this," he added.

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Premier League pledges £250M rescue package for lower divisions
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