Ipswich Town to receive £1.8m EFL ticket grant as part of rescue package from Premier League

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans

Ipswich Town are set to receive a grant from the EFL as part of the rescue fund from the Premier League - Credit: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town are set to receive a grant of around £1.8million as part of the Premier League’s rescue package to the EFL. 

A pot of £30million, part of an overall £50million package agreed for Leagues One and Two earlier this month, aims to cover lost ticketing revenue from both the cancelled games at the end of 2019/20 and throughout a 2020/21 season played largely behind-closed-doors. 

It’s been distributed on a pro-rata basis with Sunderland understood to be the third-tier club receiving the largest figure from the fund, at £2.7m, based on an average attendance at the Stadium of Light of around 30,000 last season. Portsmouth are next in line, with Ipswich the club to receive the third-largest pay-out based on their ticketing losses. 

Socially distanced fans back at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town are understood to have lost in the region of £6million in ticket revenue during the end of last season and throughout 2020/21 - Credit: Steve Waller

Ipswich are understood to be working on figures of a £6million loss, due in part to refunds given on last season’s tickets, the fact they have not been able to sell any matchday tickets to any of the 15 games they have hosted at Portman Road so far this season and the real prospect of behind-closed-doors games in the future. The grant money will cover around a third of that. 

Ipswich and Suffolk are now entering Tier 4 of the government’s coronavirus restrictions, meaning all games must be played behind-closed-doors until further notice after two matches were played in front of 2,000 fans while the town was in Tier 2. 

The club have previously projected potential losses of around £10million should the entire campaign be played behind-closed-doors or with heavily limited spectator numbers, with both the £6million figure and the grant money received only relating to ticket sales. The remaining £4million is linked to revenue from the club shop, non match-day operations at Portman Road, food and drink, hospitality and other income streams. 

Town were boosted in the summer when around 9,000 season ticket holders renewed for the 2020/21 campaign, despite the ever-looming prospect of behind-closed-doors football and, while there have been a small number of cancellations along the way, the club are heartened by how many supporters have continued to pay via direct debit. 

They are set to look at potential ways of further compensating supporters who have paid for season tickets but have been unable to attend Portman Road. 

Cardboard cut-outs have been the only fans allowed inside Portman Road so far this season Picture: S

Games at Portman Road are heading back behind closed doors after Ipswich entered Tier 4 - Credit: PA

A club spokesman said: “Compensation for season ticket holders is to be discussed in the new year when we have a framework of whether supporters will return to watching games over the rest of this season and in what numbers.” 

The receipt of this grant money will not lead to any restriction on the Blues’ transfer business but, should clubs request further money from a second pot of funding which is also being made available, they could be barred from paying transfer fees and could potentially see their salary cap spend limited over the course of several transfer windows. 

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