THE English Football League last night insisted this season must be completed while handing cash-strapped clubs reeling from the coronavirus crisis a share of £50million.
The priority of the 71 member clubs will be to fulfil their remaining fixtures and the Premier League is expected to make a similar commitment today.
In a statement, the EFL said: ‘Discussions centred on financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no one single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50m short-term relief package.
‘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. Plans continue to be developed on the agreed principle that it is in the best interests of the EFL and clubs to complete the current season at the appropriate time.
‘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 league’s fixtures.’
The EFL also committed to a ‘joined-up’ approach with the Football Association, Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association.
Premier League clubs will gather via conference call this morning to discuss their fixtures and finances.
European football’s governing body Uefa this week delayed Euro 2020 for 12 months with a view to completing domestic campaigns by June 30 and, as they are less reliant on matchday income than EFL sides, the top flight is likely to be more open to the option of playing behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, Formula One team principals will today consider scrapping their summer break as they thrash out a revised calendar in a conference call with FIA president Jean Todt and F1 bosses Jean Todt and Ross Brawn.