September 23, 2021
  • September 23, 2021

England sports brace for £ 300million government bailout

By on November 19, 2020 0

Updates on the economic impact of the coronavirus

Rugby, horse racing and women’s football are among the English sports that will benefit from a £ 300million bailout, with emergency funding provided in response to lockdowns that have prevented fans from traveling to the stages.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston on Thursday presented the bailout, with financial support for 11 sports hard hit by the pandemic – though some groups, such as those representing top male professional football and cricket, will miss out. .

An independent body will decide how the money will be distributed, but as part of preliminary allocations almost half of the total, £ 147million, will go to rugby mostly in the form of loans.

Football has received £ 28million, of which £ 3million will go to women’s football, split between the top tier women’s Super League and the 2nd tier women’s championship. The rest will go to the National League, the fifth highest level in men’s football.

Steve Barclay, chief secretary to the treasury, said it was vital to support “as many jobs as possible in the sports sector” to ensure the economy can “bounce back” from the pandemic, while the minister for Sports Nigel Huddleston argued that it was “absolutely right” to intervene.

For weeks, the government made it clear that some sports would not receive funding. He, for example, asked the Premier League, the governing body of English football which has a cushion of 9.2 billion pounds of broadcast contracts, to step in to support small clubs.

The Premier League has so far agreed to a £ 50million package to cover lost gate receipts for the League One and Two sides, the last two professional divisions, with discussions continuing on how to support the championship teams, the level immediately below the first flight. .

Sports organizations seeking government funding were required to submit financial reports to the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to detail how much money was needed to continue their activities over the six next months.

The Rugby Football Union, the English governing body of the rugby union, is expected to receive £ 44million under the plans, while Premiership rugby clubs will receive £ 59million. The Rugby League, a version of the sport more popular in the north of England, will receive £ 12million.

Last month, the RFU announced that it was facing a shortfall of £ 145million. The organization relies on income from hosting international matches at Twickenham, its west London stadium, which has been closed to spectators since the spring.

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At the time, Bill Sweeney, Managing Director of RFU, said: “We are not in a position to lead the whole game through a protracted financial crisis.”

The UK horse racing industry, worth an estimated £ 4bn per year, will receive £ 40m.

Coronavirus restrictions have driven prices down and put racetracks, owners and ranchers under financial pressure. The Racecourse Association has estimated that its members could lose £ 300million in revenue this year. The Jockey Club, which hosts the Grand National in Aintree and the Cheltenham Festival, two of Britain’s most famous horse races, expects to lose more than £ 75million.

Other sports expected to receive government support include basketball, netball and tennis, with the Lawn Tennis Association online for £ 5million.

Letter in response to this article:

It’s like saying basketball and netball are a sport / By Kris McDermott, Income Office Manager, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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