EFL bailout: Premier League agreement with League One and Two clubs imminent

The Premier League bailout for EFL clubs in League One and Two is expected to be agreed on Thursday.

The final details of the support package are being ironed out in meetings with both the Premier League and the EFL and the agreement is imminent.

The EFL clubs agreed in principle last month to accept the proposed deal, which is likely to be around £50m to support League One and Two clubs through the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic, with Championship clubs looking to agree a separate arrangement with the Premier League.

Limited amounts of supporters were allowed back into stadiums this week but EFL chairman Rick Parry has warned that the return of fans, though very welcome, will not solve the immediate financial concerns.

  • Fans return to EFL games for first time in 266 days
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Parry said: “This is absolutely not an economic panacea, even at League Two level. Quite a lot of clubs will barely break even at 2,000 coming in, some will lose money.

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“It’s a day to embrace but it doesn’t answer all the problems, it just points us in a direction where we think there may be a bit of hope that maybe come spring time we may see attendances rising.

“Maybe it will be next season when we get back to normality but at least in believing there will be normality, that is positive and hopeful.”

On Wednesday, Parry warned it could realistically be next season before clubs can have anything like full stadiums again.

“I’m delighted and excited. It’s been a very long time and we’ve had many challenges along the way,” Parry told Sky Sports News.

“We were optimistic after the round of pilot [matches] that we were heading in the right direction and then we thought it was going to be late winter [before fans could return], so we were all pretty much prepared for it being March before we had any movement.

“So this is a very welcome pre-Christmas surprise. It’s not the answer but it’s a very important first step.”

As for whether it was unfair that supporters of clubs who are located in Tier 3 areas of the country, including Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, will still not be able to attend matches, Parry said it was “unfortunate” but how it must be, for now at least.

“Of course we wish everybody was in the same tier but frankly we’re not,” he added. “I don’t see that as a reason to disadvantage everybody. We wish there was complete equality but I don’t see that as a reason to say that everybody has to be restricted.

“We can’t afford to be self-centred and if there are some winners and some losers, then frankly so be it. This is an incredibly unusual season and we have got to start somewhere if we are going to return to normality.”

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