Government give green light for football’s return but insist Premier League must ‘support football family’ financially

The Premier League and the EFL are working to restart football in England

The Premier League and the EFL are working to restart football in England - Credit: Archant

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has called on the Premier League to help support ‘the football family’ financially as it bids to return behind closed doors.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden. Picture: PA

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

The top flight is hopeful of resuming next month with a rigorous testing regime and no fans inside stadiums, while the Championship is also hoping to restart in June.

League One and League Two, though, appear highly unlikely to resume play for the 2019/20 season, while seasons have already been permanently halted in non-league.

Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, met with Premier League officials today and offered the league the government’s backing, but insisted that plan must include an increase in television coverage and financial support for the ‘wider football family’.

MORE: Championship aiming for June restart, League One season still likely to be cancelled

“Government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June. This should include widening access for live coverage and ensuring finances help wider football family.

You may also want to watch:

“It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans, and there is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.”

The news comes at a time when EFL chairman Rick Parry, who has hosted meetings this week which could lead to the cancellation of the League One season, has estimated clubs outside the top flight could be left with a £200million black hole by September.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter